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    This Summer, Russians Swapped Virtual Reality for Live Action

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    People in Russia have started to spend less time and money on online games and return to traditional forms of outdoor entertainment, according to country's largest electronic payment service.

    The popular online payment service Yandex.Money, a joint venture between the state-owned banking giant Sberbank and the Russian Internet company Yandex, has analyzed 75,000 Russian and foreign websites accepting payments through its service. As it turns out, Russians have become more interested in pursuing outdoor leisure activities and the popularity of Internet gaming sites has fallen.

    Russians spent noticeably less money on online games compared with the previous summer, according to the Yandex.Money research. Meanwhile, live-action quest games were visibly gaining popularity: among Russians, spending on participation in such activity grew 50% in the first half of the year. In real-life quests, initially inspired by video games, the participants typically have to find clues and tips to find their way out of a closed room.

    Aside from ebbing interest in online games, Russians have also spent less on other forms of on-line communication: people spent 30% less on dating sites compared to the last year, and 11% less on social networks.

    However, they've doubled their spending on movie theaters. Spending on live performances and concerts remained the same as in summer 2015. At the same time, travel costs declined in Russia. The cost of plane tickets fell by a third since last year; the average ticket price was 9,694 rubles (about 150 USD).


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