When I think of the online games market, I picture pale, spotty school boys sat mesmerized in front of their computer monitors for hours on end playing the latest game releases. I'm sure this preconception does ring true in many cases, especially within the hardcore, console based gaming sector.
However, there have been some noticeable changes taking place in the online gaming arena over the past few years that have certainly surprised me some what. Whereas the games console market is dominated by a major of young males, the skill games market finds the lion share of its business coming from the 35-65 year age range, with a slight skew towards women.
Skill gaming, which often involves the playing of multiplayer games online, was once a niche sector but is now quickly gaining mass market appeal. This is primarily due to the fact that internet access, especially broadband, has now made the seeking out of online entertainment no longer an exclusively Western pastime. In addition to this, skill games are not considered to be gambling and they are there fall outside of countries' anti-gambling statutes; These games can there be enjoyed is most countries around the globe.
Another reason for the extraordinary growth of these multiplayer games online is due to their addictive nature as well as their simplicity. Skill games are browser based games played in a tournament format, with each player paying a cash entry fee to play and with a cash prize going to the winner. They are often very short games of just a few minutes in length and have just a few simple rules to learn prior to getting underway. This means that they can be enjoyed during a break time at work and it has even been suggested that they not only improve peoples' productivity in the work place but can also reduce work related stress.
The sites that offer such games often give the player the option of either challenging a specific individual or opting for a random person on the games network to be paired up with them. These multiplayer games online really add an exciting dynamic, especially when there is a wager on the game. In a large multiplayer tournament, considerable cash prizes can be won at the end of one of these simple yet exciting games.
All these criteria have helped propel the online skill games sector in to the mainstream of online entertainment with an ever broadening mass market demographic participation. This has lead to the inclusion of people who would never have previously considered themselves to be online gamers per se.
Experts are predicting that the online skill games sector will treble in size by 2011, reaching both an ever increasing global audience as well as ever widening age range.