Survey: Tens of Millions of 'White Collar' Workers Play 'Casual' Video Games - One in Four Play at Work, and Senior Execs Play Even More

Of Those, One in Seven Has Played During a Business Meeting/Conference

Call; 80% Cite Stress Relief as a Benefit of Playing

Sep 04, 2007, 01:00 ET from PopCap Games

    SEATTLE, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- PopCap Games, the leading developer
 and publisher of casual games, today unveiled the results of a survey
 targeting "white collar" workers who play casual video games. While white
 collar workers' consumption of casual games at home mirrored the overall
 casual gamer audience fairly closely, the survey revealed some surprising
 facts about the playing of casual games in the workplace -- and the motives
 behind the activity. Among the 7,102 consumers who answered the survey, 40%
 were identified as "white collar" workers. With conservative estimates
 pegging the casual games market at over 200 million people, this
 representative sample suggests that as many as 80 million white collar
 workers play casual games. Of those white collar workers surveyed, nearly a
 quarter (24%) said they play "at work" -- with fully 35% of CEOs, CFOs and
 other senior executives saying they play at work.
     "It's not surprising that today's business professionals are casual
 video game users," said Carly Drum, a recognized expert on workplace issues
 and Managing Director of Drum Associates, a leading executive recruitment
 firm. "The face of today's executive workforce is definitely changing:
 we're seeing employees who are much more technologically savvy and familiar
 with all forms of new media from social networking to blogging and beyond.
 So, it's natural that some business executives would also look to casual
 videogames that they can play on their PC, mobile phone or BlackBerry
 during a work break, as a way to quickly relax and recharge their
 batteries, so to speak."
     The survey identified 2,842 of the respondents as white collar workers
 -- employed in management, executive management, sales, accounting,
 medical, technical, consulting or administrative capacities. Of all 2,842
 white collar workers surveyed, 98% said they played casual games at home
 and 24% said they played during work hours. Of all white collar casual
 gamers, 65% indicated they earn $50,000 or more in annual income (compared
 to 53% of casual game players overall), 22% said they earned $100,000 or
 more per year, and 58% indicated they had a college degree (compared to
 46%). 91% of white collar gamers are age 30 or older, 68% are 40 or older,
 and 39% are 50 or older.
     Playing At Work: Of those who said they played during work hours,
     -- 14% admitted they had played casual games during business meetings or
        conference calls, with two thirds (65%) of those saying they did so at
        least once a month.
     -- 61% said they play during lunch or other official break periods.
     -- 52% said they play "during my work day, when I need a short break."
     -- 19% said they play "at the end of my work day, to unwind."
     -- 11% said they play "at the beginning of my work day before I get
     In addition, those who said they played during work hours said they do
 so with considerable frequency:
     -- 53% said they play at work at least once a day.
     -- 79% said they play at work several times a week or more.
     -- 84% said they play casual games at work for between 15 and 60 minutes
        each day, on average.
     -- 11% said they played casual games at work for an hour or more each day
     As to the effects of playing casual games at work, those who do so
 acknowledged the following effects after taking a short game break at work:
     -- 84% said they felt "more relaxed and less stressed out."
     -- 52% said they felt more confident, more energetic, more productive
        and/or more mentally focused.
     Senior Executives Have More Fun
     Of all white collar gamers who participated in the survey, 241
 (slightly more than 8%) were identified as "senior executives" -- CEOs,
 CFOs, presidents and other C-level executives. Compared to white collar
 gamers overall, these senior executives indicated a considerably higher
 frequency of play, including playing at work:
     -- 35% of senior executives said they play casual games at work, vs. 23%
        of other white collar gamers.
     -- 70% said they play "during work, when I need a short break" -- vs. 49%
        of other white collar gamers.
     -- 61% said they play once a day or more frequently during each work day,
        vs. 51% of other white collar gamers.
     -- 71% said their typical game-play session at work lasts 15 minutes or
        longer, vs. 62% of other white collar gamers.
     Drum says that today's workers are very interested in employment that
 offers work-life balance -- and employers need to be sensitive to this. "It
 is a highly competitive job market and combating stress is a big part of
 maintaining a high level of productivity for all employees -- and providing
 a less stressful environment can equate to higher employee retention. Any
 way a worker can alleviate job stress through exercise, diet, increased
 sleep, or relaxing with a book or casual video game is a good thing."
     Among all white collar gamers (not just those who play at work), when
 asked to choose the single most important reason for playing casual games,
 72% chose a reason related to improving their mental state, while 24% chose
 "entertainment." As Cynthia Whitehead, a lawyer from Oakland, California,
 puts it, "After a long day of writing laws for formerly communist
 countries, the siren song of Bejeweled will beckon and I'll find myself
 unwinding with a few levels of gem-swapping."
     Nearly half (48%) of respondents who said they play casual games at
 work indicated that they supervise other co-workers. Of those in
 supervisory roles, 79% said they encouraged their staff to take brief
 mental breaks during the workday, and 29% said that more than half of the
 employees who reported to them played casual games during the workday.
     Fully 21% of all survey respondents said that at least some of their
 casual game playing occurs on their mobile device (cell phone, BlackBerry,
 Pocket PC, PDA, etc.). Of those who said they played on a mobile device, a
 whopping 68% said they had downloaded and purchased a game for their mobile
 device, roughly six times greater than the number for consumers overall.
     Of all white collar workers who said they play casual games (not just
 those who play at work), 87% have been playing casual games for three years
 or more, and 58% have been playing for six years or more. In addition, 93%
 play at least once a week, 85% play twice a week or more, and 46% play
 every day. Three quarters (75%) said their casual gaming activities consume
 three or more hours of time per week.
     Survey Methodology
     This international research was conducted by Information Solutions
 Group (ISG; exclusively for PopCap
 Games. The results are based on online surveys completed by 2,842
 respondents randomly selected between June 15 and June 29, 2007. The
 audience consisted of 1,899 United States and 943 international
 Website visitors; 772 were men and 2,069 were women. In theory, in 19 cases
 out of 20, the results will differ by no more than 1.8 percentage points
 from what would have been obtained by seeking out and polling all users age 18 and over. Smaller subgroups reflect larger margins
 of sampling error. Other sources of error, such as variations in the order
 of questions or the wording within the questionnaire, may also contribute
 to different results.
     Specific Roles and Titles
     The exact breakout of titles/roles among 2,842 white collar workers
 surveyed was:
     -- 29% Professionals (accountants, architects, doctors, etc.)
     -- 24% Clerical/Support Staff (administrative, secretarial, clerical,
     -- 17% Middle Management (managers, directors, etc.)
     -- 14% Technical Staff (IT, programming, support etc.)
     -- 9% Executive/Senior Management (CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, Presidents, etc.)
     -- 7% Other Management/Sales
     About PopCap
     PopCap Games ( is the leading multi-platform
 provider of "casual games" -- fun, easy-to-learn, captivating computer
 games that appeal to everyone from age 6 to 106. Based in Seattle,
 Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of over
 120 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, B.C. and Dublin.
 Its games have been downloaded more than 350 million times by consumers
 worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled(R), has sold more than 10
 million units across all platforms. Constantly acclaimed by consumers and
 critics, PopCap's games are played on the Web, desktop computers, myriad
 mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, iPod and more),
 popular game consoles (such as Xbox), and in-flight entertainment systems.
 PopCap is the only casual games developer with leading market share across
 all major sales channels, including Web portals, retail stores, mobile
 operators and developers, and game device manufacturers.
     The PopCap logo and all other trademarks used herein that are listed at are owned by PopCap Games, Inc. or its
 licensors and may be registered in some countries. Other company and
 product names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners and
 are used for the benefit of those owners.

SOURCE PopCap Games