Maybe a pinch of salt is required when one of the more successful brands for casual and mobile gaming says that half of UK and US mobile gamers prefer their mobile devices as a primary platform, but let’s not forget that Popcap is also a division of EA, which has some of the best-selling console games in its arsenal.

The results come from research across both regions and it seems that mobile gaming in this case, does not necessarily mean gaming on the go. Many respondents stated that their favourite place to play mobile games is on the couch or in bed. Worth considering if you’re saving up for a console for the kids at Christmas.

The survey was conducted by independent research firm Information Solutions Group, and analysed the behaviour and play habits of mobile gamers, defined as those who have played a mobile game in the past month.

Some of the results are not so surprising, people play games at times when they have to wait or queue and many people play as passengers on public transport.

gamers520a Mobile gamers prefer to play on the couch than on the go, says Popcap

50% of the mobile gamers in the survey agreed that mobile gaming is their favoured method of game play at home over traditional consoles, computers and handheld gaming devices. Tablet-only players preferred home play on mobile devices even more (57%). Not great news for PC game providers but an interesting switch from the habits in the last decade.

Clearly the arrival of tablets and the availability of games created specifically for mobile is making a big impact on user habits.

Amusingly it seems that mobile gaming also breeds some sneaky moments to beat a few rounds or level up.

A combined total of 10% confessed to playing mobile games either in a church or other place of worship, or while driving a car and/or while watching a movie at a theatre. Naturally gaming while driving is pretty stupid, but why you’d pay to go to the cinema and play a game is hard to fathom. Maybe there is something to be said for gaming addiction and the draw of these portable distractions.

Of those surveyed, 8% confirmed they had played mobile games while in class at school and 9% had played at a sporting event.

In what feels like an update to Office Space for the mobile generation, 6% of those surveyed had played mobile games at work during a meeting or a conference call. Although they might not be tuned into the meeting, at least players are awake.

Boy’s toys?

Gamers who play in unorthodox places tend to be male – 60%, younger than 35 years old – 69%, and play frequently – 78% play daily. I couldn’t possible comment on that…

This group also spends more money on mobile games and they are more likely to play mobile games with friends.

The results are based on 2,301 online surveys completed by members of an online ePanel (Toluna) in the United Kingdom and United States between April 25 and May 1, 2012.

To qualify for the survey, individuals had to own and use a mobile phone. Among these mobile phone owners, 1,004 were identified as mobile gamers. 712 of the mobile device owners were also identified as smartphone owners, while 361 were identified as tablet owners.

So for all the song and dance about portability and connections on the go, it seems that if you give a gamer a more convenient way to play, they’re going to take it and the couch still wins.

Image Credit: JacobMetcalf