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Plugged In

More moms turn to video games to relax

Plugged In

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Drop 7

Kids are stressful — and no one can testify to that better than a mother.

That tension has been a boon to countless spas and gyms in the past, but now it looks like the video game industry might be the latest beneficiary. A new survey from a leading Mommy blogger site finds that more and more moms are unwinding with a controller or iPad in their hands.

"Moms are saying, on average, they spend about five hours per week playing games," says Stacy Debroff, CEO and founder of Mom Central. "They play games that are more casual like Words With Friends or Drop 7. "

It's no secret that the vast majority of casual gamers are women. The industry has been focusing on that demographic for years. But the Mom Central survey of 1,200 mothers found that some 52 percent of mothers play games at home — and 34 percent regularly play games on their cell phones. And since waiting is a big part of motherhood, 29 percent said they play while waiting for their kids or while in line at a store.

Admittedly, the average play session isn't something that would impress a World of Warcraft player. Moms typically play for about 10 to 15 minutes before they have to put the games down and tend to other duties.

This playtime is extending to the family as well, though. Moms who responded to the survey said they play games with their families for an average of three hours per week.

And those numbers are on the rise. The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group for video game publishers, says 45 percent of parents play computer or video games with their kids on at least a weekly basis. That's a 9 percent jump in the past four years.

The chief reasons they choose to do so are because they're asked to by their kids — and they see it as a good opportunity to socialize with their child.

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