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A third of UK population are gamers - report

PC most popular format as online and mobile gaming makes its mark

A new report from ELSPA and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) suggests that 32 per cent of the UK population now classify themselves as gamers, thanks in part to the rise of online and mobile gaming.

The ISFE 2010 European Gamer Survey claims that 25.4 per cent of the adult UK population regard themselves as gamers, with 1 in 3 men playing videogames and 1 in 5 women.

A majority of 74 per cent of 16-19 year olds identified themselves as gamers, falling only to 60 per cent for 20-24 year olds.

Only 8 per cent of gamers in Europe as a whole were found to play more than 16 hours a week, with 76 per cent playing less than five hours. This compares to 7 per cent in the UK playing more than 16 hours, and 77 per cent less than five hours.

A total of 60 per cent of gamers were found to use online game sites, with 37 per cent using social networking or other non-gaming sites. As a result 65 per cent of gamers admitted to playing puzzle games online and only 18 per cent more conventional online titles.

Additionally, 55 per cent of gamers now play browser-based games online. This helped make the PC the most popular format, with 33 per cent of gamers using it to play games. The report states that the Wii and Xbox 360 combined is used by 36 per cent of gamers.

"In the last few years the development of motion sensor technology saw gaming become more accessible to new audiences who didn’t previously connect with the industry," said Mike Rawlinson, director-general of ELSPA.

"With the growth of gaming platforms such as social networking sites and the iPhone, we are witnessing once again the growth of gaming into new areas of society, truly showing that the UK is a nation of gamers."

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