Nielsen Games recently posted its April ratings for PC games/MMOs run from client installs, and as with their March numbers, they make for enlightening reading. Second Life increased its total audience share by about 63%, pushing its ranking from eight to six among the top ten. Curiously, this meant it substantially leaped ahead of Half-Life 2 in popularity. I believe Nielsen counts any Valve game running the HL2 engine in this category, including Team-Fortress 2 and CounterStrike: Source, though I'm not certain. In any case, Second Life's concurrency rates are competitive with Valve's top games. Total average minutes played also leaped, from 760 in March to 842 in April. Mysteriously, however, the much less popular Lord of the Rings Online was played even more hours than Second Life that month. And one key point for hardcore gamers to understand: an online chess game is almost as popular as World of Warcraft. Anyway, side-by-side comparison of March and April figues after the break.