Video games are in the news a lot these days. And why not? Games have sex, violence, great soundtracks, plumbers named Mario, and, increasingly, community.
People are connecting through games like never before. And yes, some people prefer virtual lives to their real ones. But there’s plenty about video games that we bet you don’t know.
Video games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. In the U.S., games are replacing television as the in-home entertainment medium of choice. And in South Korea, there are no fewer than three cable channels dedicated to online gaming.
A generation of young people that grew up with video games 20 years ago (remember Pac-Man?) are still playing games. And buying them for their own children. And some of those grown-up gamers are making games themselves.
Video games are big business. In 2005, U.S. game revenues topped $10 billion, and analysts predict that 2006 will be even bigger.
Video games are about variety. Don’t like shooting things? Then join the 7 million other people who join up for “quests” on Blizzard’s massively-multiplayer online game, “World of Warcraft.” Or pick up a Nintendo DS and do reading and math exercises with “Brain Age.” Or play poker on any of the numerous online, so-called “casual” game sites.
Video games are about stories. The games themselves have plotlines, characters and story arcs. But there are stories coming out of the industry — from the developers, from the regulators, from the industry watchers and, of course, from the players.
These are the stories you’ll read every week on “On the Level.”