"The value of an entertainment medium is directly proportional to how well it is measured." This is the proposition Nielsen VP Jeff Herrmann put forth for the creation of GamePlay Metrics, a service that will measure just how many eyeballs are glued to the day's hottest games. Such data is of course highly coveted by in-game advertisers, who want to know exactly how many people are being subliminally attracted to delicious Subway sandwiches.
This isn't Nielsen's first foray into the game space. For the past three years, the firm's annual Active Gamer Benchmark has surveyed gamers online to find trends in their behavior. The latest such report found that females and social gamers are becoming a more important part of gaming, echoing the findings of other studies
In addition to measuring gameplay habits, the GamePlay Metrics data will be cross-referenced with Nielsen's data on TV and internet usage, showing what gamers do with the rest of their free time. In news from the future, Nielsen announced next month a program that will place a tiny surveillance chip in all babies shortly after birth, measuring everything they see and do for the remainder of their lives.