Moms & Gaming

The ESA just released this very interesting study Mom Gamers Study: A New Generation of Gamer that says that 74% of Mothers today play video games and most of them do so on a mobile device of some sort (Smartphone most likely).  Mothers today are also more likely to be playing a game at least once a week (and most play every day).

Mom Gamer Stats

What I also found important is that the the majority of them (71%) also indicate that they closely monitor the video game content of their children and that 56% of gaming Mom’s agree that they video gaming can be a family activity.

I think this is potentially a critical shift in the relationship of Parenting and Video Games. There are still a lot of influential people who consider video games as generally bad, especially for children. I disagree with this view but I won’t go into this debate today as I and many others have argued  previously that there are benefits in playing video games for children which has become a common discussion topic these days. What I have also said is that one can never expect any sort of  medium (TV and Video Games included) to replace Parenting and this shift of Mothers as active video game players who can also effectively monitor/play video games together with their kids is important as it could finally indicate a bridging of generations rather than a widening generation gap which has been the general trend so far.

momfacts2

Only if Parents actually play video games will they understand it and therefore be able to correctly assess and appreciate their children’s video game play time for all the right reasons. I remember when I was answering questions in a parenting conference (Organized by Dr. Louise Porter) not too long ago it became clear to me that it was difficult for them to assess what was suitable for their child because they were unfamiliar with Video Games in general. Imagine if you had to try to determine the appropriate reading materials for your child but you were illiterate? Perhaps an exaggerated example but it’s in the same ballpark. If you don’t play video games at all or try to play together with your child, how will you ever understand why kids (and adults) are so fascinated with it?

The trend is clear. For all the parents who are not yet playing Video Games, apparently you are now in the minority so get moving and start playing games with your Kids if you want to get to know them better!

The Game Industry still appears to be in denial

E3 proves that the “traditional”Gaming Industry is still largely in denial about both Apple and the whole new social gaming space. I wasn’t expecting that Facebook or social games or the iPad were going to dominate discussions at E3 but it’s as if these platforms never existed. How convenient.

The feeling appears to be mutual.

None of the large social gaming companies were present, most notably Zynga (which recently inked a sizeable multimillion dollar investment with Softbank) didn’t even have a presence, as if they didn’t care (and perhaps they don’t!). The President of ESA, organizers of E3, in an interview titled  Why isn’t Zynga at E3? explained their absence as “it was probably a little too early”. So what he’s suggesting is that Zynga wasn’t ready for E3? It’s rather well known that Zynga has not been very popular amongst many in the game industry.

Even EA’s Playfish (which has a relevant FIFA and social gaming lineup) was completely MIA, which suggests that EA themselves may consider EA Playfish as an indistinguishable “category” of its own.

If the Gaming Industry wants to beat or adapt to this new wave they will need to do a lot better than to ignore them. Jesse Shell’s earlier presentation at DICE 2010 many months ago made a strong case about how the industry simply cannot ignore these new trends but I guess that message has yet to properly sink in.

As Rob Enderle’s described it “the gaming industry has been anemic”, while he said that specifically about Apple’s entry into the sector I get the same feeling about Social Gaming.