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Global Penetration of Gaming – and libraries

I’ll be heading to the ALA Gaming Symposium soon. I believe there are a lot of opportunities for libraries in gaming (virtual worlds, quests and sims but not gambling) so it’s an interesting space to watch. Many educators and the military have found great value in the way games promote learning success for some people.
So, this press release from ComScore caught my eye:
Worldwide Online Gaming Community Reaches 217 Million People
Online Gaming Web sites Average Nine Visits per Visitor Each Month

LONDON, UK, JULY 10, 2007 –comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a global study into online gaming, showing the number of unique visitors to these sites to have reached almost 217 million worldwide – a year-on-year growth of 17 percent.
The comScore World Metrix study took into account all sites that provide online or downloadable games, excluding gambling sites. The sector attracted 28 percent of the total worldwide online population in May and recorded an average of 9 visits per visitor. Said Bob Ivins, EVP and managing director of comScore Europe:
“With one in four Internet users visiting a gaming site, playing games online is extremely popular. The fact that these websites are pulling in over a quarter of the total worldwide Internet population shows what a global phenomenon gaming has become. The potential of the online gaming arena should be especially appealing for advertisers, as the average online gamer visits a gaming site 9 times a month.”
Yahoo! Games was the largest property, attracting 53 million unique visitors. MSN Games followed in second place, having grown by 16 percent since May 2006 to reach 40 million unique visitors in May 2007. Both properties provide a mixture of strategy, trivia, arcade, and board games, with puzzle and card games proving to be the most popular choices for gamers in both cases. The fastest-growing Top 10 gaming property was WildTangent Network, a US company that makes online and downloadable games, which grew by 398 percent year-on-year to attract 11.5 million unique visitors in May 2007. The site also attracted an average 12.2 visits per visitor, notably higher than any of the other top 10 gaming properties.
* Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.
The popularity of individual properties varied significantly between geographical locations. Yahoo! Games dominated the North American and Asia-Pacific continents, registering 18.7 million and 20.9 million unique visitors respectively. In Europe however, the Yahoo! property proved to be the fourth-most popular gaming site with 8.6 million unique visitors. MSN Games, the second-most popular gaming site in the world, was more consistent in geographical take-up, proving to be either the most or the second-most popular site in every geographical location.
You can find chart of global results in the original release here.
There is a little more analysis at TechCrunch here.
Either way, the symposium promises to be an interesting setting to discuss the role of games in libraries – communities, learning, education, etc.

Posted on: July 10, 2007, 4:22 pm Category: Uncategorized