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An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming 234

Reservoir Hill writes "An article from last week runs down the new mass audience for gaming among families, women and older people. The importance of the mass audience in gaming's spectacular growth is seen most clearly in the success of Nintendo's Wii, which is far outselling its more technically advanced hardware competitors, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. Wii Play was the No. 2-selling game of last year even though it received an abysmal score of 58 out of 100 at Metacritic, which aggregates reviews. The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience. 'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"

When Are Kids Old Enough to Play Videogames? 503

A piece at the MTV Multiplayer blog is exploring the issue of kids and gaming, wondering aloud how old is 'old enough'. A recent CES talk indicated that you should wait until at least seven to introduce your children to Mario, and we've talked in the past about the educational role games can have. MTV's Tracey John spoke to a pair of mothers who offered their own opinions on this topic: "When I asked Alisa why she thought that games weren't imaginative and explained that many games have challenging, puzzle-solving elements, she conceded a little but remained skeptical. 'Honestly, I haven't really explored video games thoroughly, and I'm sure there are video games that fit more the bill of something that I'd be interested in, but I'm kind of hard-pressed to find a game that's like reading a book or something like that. I understand the kids like it, so I allow them to do it; it's monitored but it's not my favorite thing for them to be doing.'" What's the right age for a kid to start playing games? Do you see games as more or less acceptable than traditional kid pastimes like TV or reading? Does it matter if the parents are gaming-savvy?

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!