Video games have been woven into the fabric of our lives and, along those lines, are riddled with little known facts and figures that would surprise even the most stringent critic. Below are a few of my favorite pieces of video game trivia...
The word Nintendo means "Luck of Heaven" in Japanese.
The voice actor (Michael Shapiro) who gave life to the G-man from the Half Life series also voiced security guard Barney Calhoun.
In Japan, the Street Fighter II character we Americans know as M.Bison is actually named Vega (after some North American research, Capcom didn’t think the name Vega sounded imposing enough for a final boss). Additionally, the character we Americans know as Balrog is named Mike Bison in Japan, an obvious Mike Tyson reference. Because Japanese executives were concerned about America’s litigious atmosphere (ie. a lawsuit from Tyson), they swapped the names, and shortened Mike Bison to M. Bison. True story.
Ever wonder where the title for the video game "Doom" originated from? Would you believe it came from the movie "The Color of Money" with Tom Cruise and Paul Newman? At the end of the movie, Tom Cruise is asked by an unsuspecting pool victim what he carries in his cue case. Tom Cruise replies, "Doom." This has been verified by John Carmack at id Software.
According to the 2010 "Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry" study done by the Entertainment Software Association:
The average game player age is 34 (25% are under 18 years, 49% are between 18 and 49 years, and 26% are over 50 years. Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%).
The gender of game players in 60% male, 40% female
The average age of the most frequent video game purchaser is 40.
64% of parents believe games are a positive part of their children's lives.
67% of American households play computer or video games.
48% of parents play computer and video games with their children at least weekly.
Video game genres by units sold are Sports (19.6%), Action (19.5%), Family Entertainment (15.3%), Shooters (12.2%), Racing (6.7%), Adventure (6.6%), Strategy (6.4%), RPGs (5.8%), Fighting (4.1%), Other (2.0%), Children's Entertainment (0.9%), Flight (0.4%), and Arcade (0.3%). Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service
Only 17.4% of video games are rated "Mature" by the ESRB.
Five of the top six top selling video games of 2009 were for the Nintendo Wii platform.
42% of American's play games on wireless devices such as a cell phone or PDA, up from 20% in 2002.
Only 10.8% of total games sold in 2009 were for the PC (based on units).
Game sales fell 10% YoY in 2009, going negative for the first time in four years.
41% of Americans have purchased or plan to purchase one or more games in 2010.