Video Games Day: Ready to Play?

Since the first consoles came out decades ago, video games have increased in popularity and become a staple in the American living room. From 'Mario' and 'Donkey Kong' to 'Call of Duty' and 'Battlefield,' there are as many types of games available as there are gamers, and gaming is hardly just for kids anymore. If you've always wanted to celebrate a holiday devoted to video games, then look no further -- National Video Games Day is Sept. 12, and it's the perfect excuse to stay home and play the day away.

Five surprising video game facts

Whether you're looking for a good excuse to spend the day with your PS3R or Xbox 360R this National Video Game Day, or are just curious about who your fellow gamers are, the Entertainment Software Association has a plethora of facts and statistics about video games on their website, some of which might surprise you.

  • The average video gamer is 37 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. The average age of those who most frequently purchase games is 41.
  • In 2011, 29 percent of Americans over 50 claimed to play video games. That's about one in three!
  • There is no causal link between video games and violence. Violent crime has decreased significantly since 1990, while video games have rapidly increased in popularity. After examining scientific evidence, the Surgeon General, U.S. Supreme Court and other authorities have all established there is no causal link between violent media and violent behavior.
  • 42 percent of all gamers are women over 18, making them a statistically larger percentage than male gamers 17 and younger.
  • 55 percent of gamers play on phones or mobile devices, a number that is sure to increase as smartphones and tablets continue rise in popularity.

Celebrating National Video Games Day

If you're looking for a special way to celebrate this September 12, the most important thing is to take some time to play and enjoy yourself.

  • If you are able to, clear your schedule and spend the whole day playing some of your favorite titles. Nobody can blame you. After all, it's National Video Games Day!
  • Revisit classic games that you loved when you were younger. Many modern consoles offer a way to purchase older games -- for example, it's possible to download and play old 'Super Mario' games on the Nintendo WiiR.
  • Play a game with friends, either online or in person.
  • Try a new game you've been curious about but haven't had a chance to play yet.

Even if you're not currently an avid gamer, National Video Games Day is a great opportunity to delve into the world of video gaming. Grab some favorite snacks and a couple of friends to celebrate one of today's most popular hobbies.

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