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More than 74% of women of all ages play mobile games daily, 67% see it as a vital source of relaxation, stress relief…

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Mobile gaming is soaring in popularity as the ‘go-to’ for women of all ages, 18 years – 65 years +, for relaxation, stress relief and mental stimulation, according to a new global research report commissioned by GameHouse.

In celebration of Women’s History Month and the launch of its ‘Me time-Game time’ women’s campaign, GameHouse commissioned Pollfish to survey over 800 US and UK consumers aged 18 years+ through 65 years+ about their interests, passions, how they spend their ‘me time’ and how mobile gaming factors in to this.

The results show that 74% of women are today playing mobile games once – several times per day; with more than 67% of those surveyed quoting mobile gaming as a vital part of their downtime or ‘me time’.  When asked specifically how they like to spend their ‘me time’, across the board, respondents of all ages said they choose mobile gaming as a key means to relax and relieve stress, with a vast 73% majority of 35-44-year-old women playing mobile games during their ‘me time’

Mobile gaming is recognised for providing novelty, mental stimulation and variety that keeps life interesting, engaging and fun, and that these fresh and immersive experiences provide an instant escape from the hustle and bustle and pressures of daily life, enabling players to take a break and a moment for themselves.

Here, in particular mobile games that provide a deep narrative that players can fully immerse themselves in, with strong relatable characters and storyline, provide welcome engagement and instantaneous distraction. Further, that strategy games provide new challenges and mental stimulation for all ages.

Simonetta Lulli Gómez, CEO, GameHouse, says: “As a company we are on a mission to design around female gaming preferences and to encourage women to take their ‘me time’ and enjoy it! GameHouse has an unrivalled heritage of the past 25 years in creating the type of games that women engage with the most.”

She continues: “We believe that our casual mobile and PC gaming experiences, with strong relatable characters and story narrative provide the perfect escape from day-to-day commitments, an opportunity to unwind and recharge your batteries.”

For all respondents aged 18 years+, gaming ranked the sixth most popular way to relax and unwind. Amongst this, a considerable 33% of 35-44 year-olds surveyed said they favour playing games, with 25% of 45-54 year-olds and 20% of 55-64-year olds enjoying playing games in their ‘me time’.

Further, 60% of all women aged 18 years+, said they see gaming as fun, with over half valuing it as a means to ‘relieve stress’ and 39% as a means to ‘take a moment for myself’. Additionally, two thirds of women aged 18 years+ said they feel ‘relaxed’, ‘stimulated’, ‘engaged’ or ‘focused’ when on their mobile, proving that mobile provides balance and the perfect escape from day-to-day commitments for all ages.

In terms of preferred mobile game genres, Bubble Shooters, Puzzle, Word, Board and Collapse games ranked the highest, with 48%, 35%, 35% and 32%, respectively, playing these genres currently or over the past three months. Overall, women value the problem solving, challenge, growing and strategic thinking aspects of gaming the most. Of those surveyed, mobile remains the most popular gaming platform for women, with 42% playing games on Android and 54% on iPhone.

When asked how else they like to spend their time on mobile, respondents confirmed they like to focus on social media (76%), streaming entertainment like video and music, researching, browsing and shopping (66%) and communicating with friends and family (60%).

Mobile Gaming and ‘Me time’ 

Globally, almost three quarters of women are playing games in 2023. Female gamers in fact represent 48% of the global mobile gaming market; with 21% of adult mobile gamers being women aged 36 years+.

Yet women continue to feel guilty about taking ‘me time’ with 34% of respondents saying they sometimes feel guilty about taking their ‘me time’; and 15% saying they frequently or always feeling guilty taking ‘me time’, compared to just 7% of men.

Respondents stated that often they must limit ‘me time’ to a few times per week, either just before bedtime or first thing in the morning, when they are ‘free of chores’ or ”when the husband is at work’ and ‘kids are at school’. Worse still, some don’t take it all. 60% of 35–44-year-olds said they don’t get enough or any ‘me time’.

46% percent of those surveyed aged 18 years+ said they feel they don’t get enough or any ‘me time’, with just 32% saying they get an average amount. Within this, 60% of 35–44-year-olds said they don’t get enough or any ‘me time’. The research shows that kids play a bigger role in when women get their me time.

Emmi Kuusikko, Head of Product Strategy, Insights and Growth, GameHouse, said, “Our research shows that women seek ‘me time’ but feel guilty about taking it and that women find mobile gaming to provide the perfect escape, a means to unwind and have fun.”

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