More Moms Turn to Video Games

Survey: 70 percent of casual gamers are women

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's a new trend in gaming: women and mothers play video games for some release. NBC4's Lolita Lopez reports.

    While some busy women opt for exercise, massages and spa treatments to unwind, others are increasingly turning to an unlikely source of relaxation: video games.

    It's the latest trend: a whopping 70 percent of casual gamers are women -- and, busy women at that. About 52 percent of mothers play games at home, 34 percent regularly play games on their cell phones and 29 percent play while waiting for their kids or while in line at a store, according to the website, Mom Central.

    Robin Hunt, a 41-year-old volunteer manager for a hospital, said she took up gaming several months ago when she received an iPad as a gift.

    "When I have some downtime, and it's rare when you have two kids, and mine are very active," said Hunt. "That's when I play."

    Hunt is not the only mother turning to her mobile device, computer or other gaming console, according to a new survey of 1,200 moms by Mom Central.

    "Moms are saying, on average, they spend about five hours per week playing games," said Stacy Debroff, CEO and founder of Mom Central. "They play games that are more casual like 'Words With Friends' or 'Drop Seven.'"

    Debroff said the key word is "casual."

    "What the trending is showing is that moms are coming in and out for short periods," she said. "It's about 10 or 15 minutes, when you are waiting for the laundry to finish or you are on the commute home. It's just a way to dive into something that is engaging your mind."

    Engaging, yes. But, Hunt said, it's also very addictive.

    "That's the main thing, one more game turns into five more games," she said. "Then really, I have to put it down and say, enough, because you want to win; you want to beat it."

    How bad is it? Just ask her kids Kyle and Talia.

    "I don't think she plays more than I do, but she pays an awful lot," said her son, Kyle.

    Hunt admits to being disconnected sometimes, but also tries to find activities with her family away from her devices. But, the survey also shows that moms play games with their families on average about three hours a week.

    "When I am at work, I don't play, so I don't think it's an addiction yet," Hunt said. "I definitely have a sincere liking to it though."

    She doesn't plan to give up the more traditional ways of unwinding just yet, Hunt said.

    "I pedicured last night and I had my iPad gaming," she said. "I do both. I can't get rid of the spa for sure, but you can combine as much as you can."

    Hunt is now working with companies, such as GameHouse, to consult on new games.

    GameHouse develops and distributes casual games that people love to play and share online, and via smartphone, tablets, Facebook and Google+.

    Founded in 1998, the company asked her to download and beta test several games. She is not paid for her services, but she is looking into that possibility in the future.

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