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The Conversation

Are Video Games Just Games?

Ross Reynolds
10/14/2005 at 1:00 p.m.

Half the population of the United States plays video games. The other half trivializes video games, canít understand video games, or fears video games. Today we ask video game aficionados to explain why the games are so compelling. We explore the vast differences between games, from online multi-player games to first-person shooter games to Super Mario Brothers. Some people think that video games are an art form on par film or literature. Calling them 'games' may give a mistaken impression of childish playthings, but people of all ages play video games. In fact, nearly one in five gamers is over 50 years old. But there is a generation gap in our attitudes toward video games.

Nick Yee graduate student at Stanford University who is doing research in online gaming and immersive virtual reality. Heís been studying and surveying online game players since 1999 and collected survey data from more than 35,000 players.

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