Thursday, January 17, 2008

That Figures

Not everyone is willing to admit that video games are legitimate. They are derided as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fad, immature, and definitely not worthy of a college degree or career. But as Elvis, The Beetles, Ed Sullivan, The Simpsons and South Park have done, video games are proving that a new medium may scare the folks, but the kids are embracing it despite the resistance.

Once considered only the pass time of teenage boys with no social life, they now are transcending gender and age lines with no regard to their critics. Software for static and portable game systems earned a record $8.64 billion this year, while the domestic gross from Hollywood earned $9.62 billion this year. While the one billion dollar difference might seem like a lot of money in Hollywood’s favor, we have to consider the fact that video games earned another $9.3 billion in hardware and accessory sales. This was an increase of about 43% in the US alone over 2006 video game sales. Although DVD sales helped the movie studios retain their dominance in gross sales (grossing $16 billion), 2007 was the first year in history that consumers spent less on DVD purchases than the previous year.

With video games, board games, card games, movies, books, television, magazines and blogs, the amount of entertainment the average American has access to is staggering. The question is no longer “Are video games real medium in entertainment?” but rather “How does the emergence of video games change the way that we communicate our stories in entertainment?”

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