Alice Taylor, founder of gamer friendly wonderlandblog and builder of bridges between the traditional TV channel and the digital channels gave one one those rare conference speeches which mixed knowledge, modesty and turning complex into simple.
Sweeping through a quick tour of the world of MMORPGs (see previous posts) she shared some recent research from the US. It was found that amongst youth the average time spent on MySpace was 21 minutes whilst on World of Warcraft it was a whopping 197 minutes spent per day.
TV stations and brands are focusing so much attention on the myspace/bebo phenomenon, yet connecting with the gaming experience is still in it's infancy. Yeah, but the research was from the U.S. I hear you cry. That might be true, but in my straw poll of two (One 30something in the U.K. and a young 22 year old czech person), 2-3 hours on World of Warcraft is not unusual.
Alice herself is a big gamer, and highlighted the point that whilst many young women are gamers they get ignored as a viable market. So a missed opportunity, or will 2007 see both the gaming industry and brands review their approaches to gaming from their 'it's a boy thing' perspectives? Alice suggests that Wii has already made a move for the female gamer, so maybe things are going to change.
Alice stressed that Gaming and MMORPGs are in direct competition for the time of the young person across a number of countries. In the U.S. the average TV consumption is 28 hours per week, whilst in MMORPG households, TV consumption drops to 7.7hours per week, over 70% of TV viewing gone! Meanwhile in these MMORPG househols, playing the games takes up 21 hours per week. A sign that such gaming eats away at TV viewing time.
It is clearly time that gaming is looked at more by brands, if only to understand better how young people tick, wherever they live.