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Men are bigger shoppers -- at least virtually -- than women

Women may buy more stuff than guys from brick-and-mortar stores, or online shopping sites like Amazon or Overstock. But men can claim the shopping title when it comes to buying virtual goods for mobile social games, outspending women 9-to-1, according to MocoSpace, a mobile social network and gaming platform.

MocoSpace surveyed 1,500 mobile social gamers and found that while 53 percent were male, and 47 percent female, 69 percent of men were buying virtual goods, while only 31 percent of females did.

"On top of that, those male gamers are responsible for 90 percent of virtual goods that are purchased inside the games," observed VentureBeat. "It shows that men really do love to shop, at least when it comes to gaming. Games on MocoSpace include ... Street Wars, Stage Hero, and Happy Farm. Overall, there are 17 million members on MocoSpace’s platform."

That's a lot of potential shoppers — male or female.

WhatMMORPG.com says the "whole idea behind the virtual market is that virtual goods enhance game play and make the game better. By design, it is typically much cheaper to buy in-game goods with virtual gold than with the regular in-game currency (or, in some cases, premium equipment may not even be available for purchase with the regular currency)."

"The actual prices themselves are rarely a good indication of value, as one unit of the premium currency can sometimes be worth hundreds or even thousands of the basic currency. However, players who are accustomed to a game's economy can begin to make judgments about what an item's value is in terms of time and effort. When a player knows that it would take several hours to earn enough basic in-game currency to purchase virtual goods that he or she could have now for only a few dollars, the idea of spending real money does not seem farfetched."

There's also a nice benefit to virtual shopping — fundraising that goes for non-profits as part of the buying, with one of the first games to do so being World of Warcraft, WhatMMORPG.com said.

"Players gained the ability to buy special pets to follow them on their adventures. The pets cost $10 each, with half of the proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish foundation. A more recent example is the virtual in-game products offered by Sony Online Entertainment, with proceeds going to the Red Cross to support the relief efforts taking place in Japan. The most notable of these goods was a cherry blossom that Everquest players could feature in their in-game homes."

Those relief efforts, undoubtedly, are hurting with SOE's outage for nearly a month because of a security breach.

— Via VentureBeat

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