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Video Games

Where would the world be without video games?  I’m not kidding, either.  While you may scoff at the concept of sitting in front of a television screen plugging away at that final boss, the truth of the matter is that video games are serious business. 

By 2008, industry experts think that the global video game market will top $55 billion.  It’s estimated that over half of all Americans play video games.  In 2002 every household bought an average of two video games.  And though you may think that video games are ’just for kids,’ adults purchase about ninety percent of all games and the average age of players is 29.  Women are getting more involved these days too.  Over forty percent of all video game players are now female.

The flavor of choice among all gamers is the console gaming system.  Almost every household in America has a console of some sort.  The most popular system to date is the Playstation 2, with over 20 million units installed in the country so far.  Straggling behind, the Microsoft XBOX and Nintendo Gamecube combined cannot surpass Playstation 2’s popularity.

While console gaming represents the vast majority of the gaming market, PC games are in an era of serious decline despite continued efforts of developers around the world.  It’s estimated that by 2008, console gamers will outspend PC gamers by $7 billion dollars.  Despite better graphics, the ability to patch games to fix bugs, and a growing multiplayer segment, PC games will be unable to cope with the multiplayer demands as PC gaming technology outpaces broadband bandwidth.  To make things worse for PC games, every new console system now has the ability to handle multiplayer.

So why are video games so popular?  One could argue that your time could be better-spent reading books or exercising.  But the thing is, our stereotypes of the super-geek or the fat kid sitting at home drinking cola and eating pizza just doesn’t hold up anymore.  Everyone is getting into video games.  It’s mainly because they offer such an exciting prospect of escape into a fantasy world.  As technology evolves, the immersion factor is increasing on a ridiculous scale. The widespread availability of cross-platform games also means that consumers have access to a huge catalogue of games at once.

Now that video games are here to stay the industry is gearing up for a new era of marketing and development.  Huge video game releases like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Half-life 2 are treated like mega-blockbuster film releases with advertisements across all media and trailers designed to heighten anticipation.  Let’s face it.  Video games are fun.  The stigma of playing video games has disappeared over the last two decades and the gaming renaissance has begun!