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Zynga: New Hardcore Gamer is 40 and Female

On Saturday, Zynga's Director of Brand Advertising Manny Anekal said during the 2011 SXSW Trade Show that the company is not only changing the gaming landscape, but is increasing the landscape of the overall gaming experience. He backed that up with claims that at least one in five Americans play games offered by Zynga like Farmville, Cityville, Mafia Wars and even Words with Friends.

But one of the more surprising statistics he offered during his presentation was that women are the new hardcore gamers. “More women are playing Farmville than watching soap operas,” he said, adding that the 40-year-old mom spends the most amount of time playing Zynga games. He also said that they spend the biggest amount of money too.

"She is the new hardcore gamer," Anekal declared. He offered additional numbers, indicating that 55-percent of all gamers in the U.S. are women. Even more, 53-percent of Zynga players are women between 25 and 44.

During 2010, the average Zynga gamer played 68 minutes per day. This number is based on actual browser time, and doesn't include time spent playing Farmville and other titles on iOS and Android platforms. He said that if you cut that number in half, it's still an "enormous amount" even when compared to watching broadcast television.

Anekal's input was part of a session called Storytelling through Advertising: Engaging Players in Online Games which shared case studies from leading companies and discussed "practical ways that brands have turned to social gaming to develop immersive campaigns that actually engage users and keep within a game’s narrative – and the serious risks of doing it wrong."