Commuters choose games over reading … says games company – Console news

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Research from, yes, a mobile games publisher finds that print is yesterday’s news for bored travellers

A growing number of commuters are abandoning books and newspapers in favour of mobile games, according to research announced today. Okay, so the research has been carried out by Popcap, a social gaming publisher that has something of a vested interested in the market, but nevertheless, the figures are reasonably interesting.

Based on a survey of more than 1,500 adults, the company discovered that more than a quarter of Brits aged between 16-24 are playing mobile games rather than reading to pass the time on journeys. That’s compared to just 11% a decade ago. There’s no breakdown into specific gaming platforms as yet, but the figure takes in mobile phones, smartphones and handheld consoles.

I think we need to test this with some anecdotal evidence: on your commute to work this morning, how many people were playing games? I haven’t noticed a drastic increase, but then I live in Somerset and tend to travel offpeak, so I’m hardly in the middle of commuter hell.Meanwhile, will this be read as a damning indictment of modern culture? Is it bad that we’re using downtime to play, rather than catch up with current affairs or take in a chapter or two of the latest Booker winner? We’re seemingly hardwired to see the decline of print media as a tragedy for the collective intellect, but then, is playing Professor Layton any less valuable than doing the crossword? Will we get a richer narrative experience from Dissidia: Final Fantasy, or from the latest blockbuster crime thriller inexplicably hogging the bestseller list?

And while we’re on the subject, have you ever initiatied a local multiplayer gaming sesh with a fellow passenger? This apparently happens all the time in Tokyo, where Monster Hunter has made beast-slaying pals out of complete strangers. Could that ever happen here? According to Popcap’s research, only 7% of us are willing to chat to fellow commuters, so I guess it’s highly unlikely.

Also, what are your top commuting games?



Game culture

Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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