Posted by: ellenpayne2012 | October 14, 2012

A little less wee in our Wii?

In the first eight months of 2012, U.S. retail sales of video games plummeted 20 percent says an Oct. 7 New York Times article. What’s up? Where’s the wee in our Wii?

If you’ve ever played Angry Birds, there lies one piece of the puzzle. Smart phone games have become hugely popular, can be had for pennies, and are easily accessed on smart phones. But even their popularity ebbs and flows like a bird in flight.

Of course there’s the economy. Before you can play one of the more corporate “elite” video games, you’ve invested in cable, a controller, the game, and perhaps a high-def TV. Young men have been hit hard.

And finally, narrative television as a whole is in decline (reality TV replacing sitcoms). Theatre attendance is down too.

What will cause a turnaround? Fingers are crossed that Nintendo, who is credited with saving the gaming industry after it crashed in the eighties, will score a repeat performance when its new Wii U is introduced next month.

And new business models are being born ever day. “Free thinking, independent creators are on the rise and they’re making some fascinating games,” says the Times article.

Monday, there is a Wii guitar challenge at work to raise money for charity. You know gaming’s gone mainstream when you see it pop up in a staid utility and you’re competing against a vice president that has played it and is out to win.

Question: What do you think has caused the dip in popularity? Does the decline in narrative entertainment had an effect on video game sales?

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