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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 11, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Who is playing video games?

Twenty-two percent of people who play video games fall into the “young heavy gamer” segment, according to just-released research from The NPD Group. That’s apparently a reference to their usage, not their BMI.

The segment represents 38 million people, based on NPD’s market research, which included data gathered in January and February from more than 20,000 people in the company’s online consumer panel. The total gaming audience numbers 174 million, counting people who play on Mac/PC, game consoles and portable devices.

Young heavy gamers show a strong preference for portable game systems and make up about one-third of every systems’ ownership base, according to the NPD research.

The other gamer segments include:

— Extreme Gamers, spend 45 hours a week gaming, 3 percent;

— Avid PC Gamers, most likely to purchase digital game downloads, 9 percent;

— Console Gamers, second-largest ownership base for non-portable systems, 17 percent;

— Online PC Gamers, 14 percent

— Offline PC Gamers, PC still biggest single platform, 15 percent

— Secondary Gamers, 20 percent

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