The Yorkshire Evening Post has an interesting little article on research carried out by 888 Ladies. There’s a mass of figures about the game’s prominence in the Yorkshire area with claims that over 30,000 women are playing online bingo in Yorkshire, winning £18m a year in the process. Don’t get too excited though by the large figure, over a year, that averages out at around £11 per player.
One of the more startling figures (from a blokes perspective at least) is that Yorkshire ladies log on to play the game more times a week than they have sex. Maybe it’s time husbands learnt to block sites on the family PCs to even the odds. It also goes on to claim that many women are eschewing their Saturday afternoon shop in favour of a trip to the PC for a session of online bingo.
There’s a few more juicy figures thrown in, but personally, I’d like to see a lot more info on how they got the figures. Are the Yorkshire players on their site or on all online bingo sites, what was the source of the figures, were just ladies polled? And etcetera. If they only polled their own players, then once again the whole big can of worms about the emasculation of the game is opened.
I’d like to know how many men in Yorkshire play, what percentage of men would play at 888 if it wasn’t so feminine, how many men are playing at 888 Ladies under the guise of women, etc. The article focuses (as I guess the research does) on uncovering the habits and thoughts of what the perceived online market is. The problem with this sort of research and article is it reinforces the perception that the game is just for ladies.
Why, well, any new or existing sites will look at research like this and come to the conclusion, ‘we must cater for the ladies, they are our target market’ and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Many times people involved in online bingo say to me when I protest that they are hitting the target market by making their sites feminine in their design and culture. Unfortunately, this will further alienate male players and further skew future research. Let’s see someone step up to the mark and take a look at the male perspective on the game for a change, or at least do some unisex research!