Games world

OECD Observer

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Playing computer and video games is a booming industry, but in only a few countries is it the main reason why people go online. For instance, many Danes click online for government information, while the Swiss use the net more for job hunting.

Still, games are becoming more popular, with mobile delivery showing fastest growth. Online games include extensions of small-group games that are possible to play off-line, to “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games”, with many thousand concurrent players logged in to fantasy games like World of Warcraft or Dark Age of Camelot. These attract a market reaching into the tens of millions worldwide.

Intensive computer game players are relatively few in number: usually male, aged 15-28, playing more than 20 hours per week. Mass-market consumers, on the other end of the scale, prefer playing games that are easy to learn and last a short time. Meanwhile, the market continues to evolve as players get older and tend to have higher incomes. Also, more and more women are starting to play multiplayer games online. In fact, although in most OECD countries men are more likely than women to use the Internet, significantly more women than men use it in the US.

©OECD Observer No 254, March 2006




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