BERLIN: Young Germans regard computer games as part of daily life, with smartphones now a popular platform that has attracted more women players, research for BITKOM has found.

The trade association for the IT, telecoms and new media industries polled 1,482 people, including 517 gamers aged over 14. It found that more than a third of Germans (36%) played computer games, or a total of more than 25m people.

Gamers were concentrated in the younger age groups, with 80% of 14-29 year olds playing, and 44% of 30-49 year olds.

And while men continued to account for the majority of the gaming community, that was slowly changing. Some 42% of men played games compared to 30% of women, up from 22% five years earlier.

Dr Christian P. Illek, of the BITKOM Bureau, noted that technical developments had changed the profile of the typical gamer.

"The boom in games for smartphones, tablets and social networks as well as innovations such as motion control has made them attractive to many people outside the traditional target group," he said.

Smartphones were firmly established as a games platform, with 44% of gamers playing on these devices, compared to 43% on games consoles.

But the desktop remained most popular, with 76% of gamers continuing to use this device. Just 10% used a tablet.

The report also found that more and more users of consoles are going online with their devices – 49% today compared to 24% just one year ago. And they are also more likely to stay permanently connected, with 20% doing so, while the remaining 29% connected only occasionally.

The internet has also become increasingly important as a distribution channel. Just over half (52%) of gamers in Germany preferred to download new games, while 22% favoured games that do not have to be installed, such as those on social networks.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff