Men Game With Friends, Women Game Alone

    May 8, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Guys are much more likely to form friendships with strangers they meet in online gaming than women, who prefer to solo game instead.

The AP-AOL poll on gaming reinforced some common beliefs – more men play computer games than women do, and more city-dwellers than suburbanites go online to frag.

But men, who are supposedly more aloof and less social than women, have been the ones to put the zing in socializing. The in-game friendships they find among the strangers they meet more likely extends beyond the game, at almost a one in four rate (24 percent).

Women tend to restrict those friendships to just the game, as their friendships extend beyond the game about half as often (13 percent) as they do for men. Given the chance to game, the poll found that women tended to favor solo games moreso than men do (69 percent versus 59 percent).

The importance of online gaming to the videogame industry becomes apparent in the poll. AP and AOL noted that those who play online games are twice as likely to spend $500 or more per year on gaming than those who don’t play online.

Seventeen percent of online gamers spent more than $500 last year on gaming related items and services. That illustrates why companies like Microsoft have invested in offering subscription services like Xbox Live. They provide a chance to garner more revenue from gamers, an essential task given that Microsoft loses money on its Xbox 360 console with each sale.

That loss has to be made up somewhere. Licensing to videogame development companies offers one way to do so, but online gaming subscriptions likely offer a higher profit margin to the vendor over time.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.