Gamers Detract From TV Audience


Ad for EA Sportsí new game, NASCAR 2005 (www.easports.com).
The Digital Gaming in America annual survey found that not only has video gaming finally outpaced PC gaming, but that gaming in general continues to threaten television's dominance as the media of choice.

The Digital Gaming in America annual survey found that not only has video gaming finally outpaced PC gaming, but that gaming in general continues to threaten television's dominance as the media of choice.

 

Over one-quarter (26 percent) of the survey's respondents said their TV viewing had decreased in the last year, and 20 percent said they expect it will decrease in the upcoming year.

 

"The study lends further credence to the observation that video games are pulling consumers away from television," according to a press release about the survey.

 

The study, conducted by the Ziff Davis Media Game Group, also found that "mobile gaming" is becoming more popular. The number of households that played games on cell phones doubled to 16.3 million in 2004, up from 8.1 million in 2003.

 

"Not only is mobile gaming strongly on the rise, but consumers' interest in media and advertising in general has begun tipping towards digital games and game-related channels," Dale Strang, senior vice president of the Game Group, said in the release. "Gamers generally preferred magazines and websites over television for their gaming interests, citing magazines as providing credible game reviews and a relaxing experience."

 

A Reuters article about the study noted that networks grew antsy last fall when Nielsen, which provides TV ratings, reported that males aged 18-34—considered a key demographic—had decreased their prime-time viewing by 7.7 percent.

 

Increased gaming activity has also prompted advertisers to invest significant sums in placing ads in actual video games. Chrysler and Sony Ericcson are just two of many companies whose products are appearing in games themselves, according to an MSNBC.com article.

 

The Ziff Davis Media Game Group is the largest U.S. publisher of electronic game magazines. Its Electronic Gaming Monthly covers popular game platforms like PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube.

 

The study randomly selected 1,000 U.S. households to participate in the survey from May through June 2004.

 

Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.

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