What about Video Games?

Two posts today. The next one will be about a specific book series. But first, something everyone probably has heard of, but I suspect a lot of people don't really know anything about.

Video games are a big part of many boys' lives. Actually, they are a big part of everyone's lives, since the average age of gamers is 37 according the the Entertainment Software Association, with 42 percent of gamers being women, but games are traditionally considered teen boys' business. Gaming is also a huge industry, with a market value of 74 billion dollars. Why am I telling you this? Games are important to a lot of people, so, like them or not (I love 'em) they are not to be ignored. It shouldn't therefore be surprising that a number of games have been spun off to other media, including books. All this can be used to our advantage in promoting reading in teen boys.

I mentioned that I love games. I have several gaming systems (4 kinds of Nintendo, a PC, and an XBox 360), and I play regularly. I play M rated games, but that rating doesn't really do justice to the quality and storytelling of many games. There is nothing in most games that is any worse than a movie or even many books, so don't think that the shootin' and killin' is anything worse than the frequent abuses of people and drugs in a lot of YA novels. In fact, the games that do have things that aren't appropriate for kids, I suspect kids wouldn't be too terribly interested in anyway, just as not many teens would much care about, say Woody Allen.

Anyway, you should be aware of the various games and game system teens like. GTA isn't Pokemon, and Halo isn't Mario. Fans of Nintendo may not be fans of Playstation and XBox. They aren't all the same, and don't all appeal to the same people. Know your boys, and it will go a long way into getting them reading.
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