The Nielsen company has released another quarterly report on videogames (PDF) and while they should be gathering data for TV ratings (and keeping my TV shows on the air), one can only assume they have the resources to cover videogames as well. Some new data within the report points the discovery that female gamers ages 25 and over amount for the largest portion of PC players. Which, translated into a delicious pie form, would be 46.2 percent of all players.
The most played games on the PC? Microsoft-based games that come pre-installed with every copy of a Windows OS, like Freecell and Minesweeper with Solitaire being the most played games of December of 2008. They didn’t stop at proving that Solitaire is the most played game. In males and females ages 25 to 54, Solitaire is played 5 times for about 30 minutes each time. The unique total of all people measured playing Solitaire? 4,648,004.
How did they obtain this information? The company electronically tracked and recorded 185,000 PCs in the US. When a program is running, the name of that program and the individual running it is recorded. With this information it shouldn’t come as a surprise that videogames like World of Warcraft and Half-Life 2 have taken some of that share of time from men and women ages 25 to 54, with World of Warcraft inching for over 400,000 unique female players, over 600,000 unique male players and hey, look at that, Half-Life 2 comes in with over 170,000 unique male players.