I can only be encouraged by how well gaming has been to be received in the B2B world. I knew gaming was popular, and it wouldn't have been a huge stretch to imagine the gaming culture has considerable overlap with IT professionals, my target demographic - but I was still surprised at the numbers from the IntelliQuest CIMS Spring Business Study 2007:
- 18.6% of IT professionals spent an average of 1.6 hrs with Video Games the previous day
- 24.2% of IT Staff spent an average of 1.8 hrs with Video Games the previous day
- 24.21% of IT Professionals have accessed the Internet specifically to play single or multiple player games
Words like "exposure" and "adoption" don't adequately describe numbers like that. 1.8 hours a day? That's not "playing" video games - that's living in a virtual world. In fact when it comes to Web 2.0, online games are the most popular Internet activity in the US - eclipsing both online video watching and visits to social networking sites.
Okay, so my customers are playing games, but is there an opportunity for me to reach them there? Not sure. But in a recent Nielsen Entertainment research study, in-game advertisement for technology tools increased brand rating by 70 percent! What's not clear is whether those ads are relevant to the gaming experience itself or part of "out of game" advertising campaigns. From my limited exposure to gaming culture, it seems that ads that reinforce the virtual experience would gain more traction than those that don't.
I'm not sure if online gaming is Web 2.0's killer app but for now it's the winning one and I'm convinced I have to find a way to get online gaming on the radar and into my Web 2.0 strategy.