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Women over 40 biggest online gamers

U.S. women over the age of 40 spend nearly 50 percent more time each week playing online games than men and are more likely to play online games daily than men or teens.
/ Source: Reuters

Think teenagers are spending all night long playing online games on the computer? Wrong -- it's their mothers burning the midnight oil.

AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., released a study on Tuesday showing that U.S. women over the age of 40 spend nearly 50 percent more time each week playing online games than men and are more likely to play online games daily than men or teens.

Of those women over 40 who had formed online friendships, AOL said, more than 20 percent converted those virtual connections into real-life relationships.

Fueling the arguments of those who say that gaming takes away from other activities, 44 percent of the women over 40 who responded to the survey, conducted by Digital Marketing Services, said they spend less time watching TV or movies, reading or being physically active because of their game play.

More than a quarter of those women, the survey found, play their favorite games between midnight and 5 a.m. Women in the poll tended to favor word and puzzle games.

About half of teens surveyed reported spending more time playing games than reading and more than a quarter doing more gaming than homework.

AOL also did research on gaming habits in major cities, finding that people who play games online in Los Angeles are far more likely (31 percent) to form off-line relationships than the national average (18 percent).

Atlanta and Boston were the most game-happy cities overall, at about 8 hours per capita per week, the survey said.

The survey was conducted online with 3,613 respondents between mid-December and mid-January, the company said.