Old Media sneers at New

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th 2011 at 12:03 p.m.

Ah, there’s nothing that proves how out of touch and outdated you are by having your “man’s man” share a laugh with two breezy blondes about how men above the age of 25 apparently shouldn’t be gaming any more.

Hey Donny, I’m 41; I have a professional career; I’m married with a baby; I own my own house and car; I change my own oil and brakes; I brew my own beer; I go camping; I know how to load and fire a gun; I can drink scotch and whiskey straight.  With the exception of being horribly overweight I think I’m pretty solidly in the “man’s man” wheelhouse.  AND I PLAY VIDEOGAMES.

You know what, scratch that - let’s take Juan.  I don’t know his age but I think he’s in our general range.  He’s an ex-Marine; he works in construction; he’s built like a freaking truck.  And he plays videogames.  Heck he even built a custom rig for racing games  .

The Entertainment Software Association’s industry facts illustrate the fact that videogaming is a major economic and social force in our culture:

1. Consumers spent $25.1 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2010.
2. Purchases of digital content accounted for 24 percent of game sales in 2010, generating $5.9 billion in revenue.
3. Seventy-two percent of American households play computer or video games.
4. The average game player is 37 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.
5. The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 41 years old.
6. Forty-two percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).
7. In 2011, 29 percent of Americans over the age of 50 play video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999.
8. Fifty-five percent of gamers play games on their phones or handheld device.
9. Seventy-six percent of all games sold in 2010 were rated “E” for Everyone, “T” for Teen, or “E10+” for Everyone 10+. For more information on game ratings, please see www.esrb.org.
10. Parents are present when games are purchased or rented 91 percent of the time.

I play games as my primary source of entertainment partly because they are vastly more entertaining and mentally stimulating than most of the trash that comprises the vast wasteland of television today.  This kind of shallow, vapid content is OK for the mouth-breathers who think “American Idol” is compelling entertainment, but for those of us who actually think, we’ll get our entertainment elsewhere.


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