Are Video Games Improving the Economy?

Popular Game

     Did you know that on average in 2010, SEVEN video or computer games were sold every SECOND of every day and that at least 245 MILLION games were sold in the United States in 2011?  Although the positive and negative effects on video games on specific individuals can vary, it is still a very highly debated topic.  Some tend to focus on the negative effects of violent video games, like antisocial behavior, while others see video games in a more positive light, focusing on the social interaction, stress release, and even learning that can be obtained from playing certain games.  Although both sides of this argument seem to have solid evidence for their perspective points, the effects of video games on an individual seems to stem from the amount of time spent playing the games and the types of games that are being played.  Instead of focusing on the specific effects of video games on individuals,  let’s try to see a more general positive effect of the gaming industry:  the benefits it brings to the economy and society as a whole.  Although it has been said often that the first things that people give up during financially hard times is different forms of entertainment, including video games, the video game industry is still thriving and growing in this less than perfect economy.

A Negative Relationship

     According to one article, the video game industry will continue to grow at least five percent through 2015!  In 2011, computer and video game companies estimated a revenue of 25 billion dollars.  The benefit of this is the many jobs these companies provide at state and local levels across the whole nation.  The president and CEO of the Venan Entertainment, Inc. contributes the success of the video game industry to the older people who have always played video games and to the younger people who are just starting to play.  Also, new technologies and gaming systems, such as the Wii, may even spark the interest of previous non-players too.  Additionally, the game consoles can elicit more money when players buy ad ons, apps, and internet subscriptions to play online.  Once the consoles have been purchased, players can use them for other things as well, such as connecting to Netflix to watch movies.  Overall, because video games remain so popular, even in a time a recession, the industry is boosting the economy by thriving and adding to the country’s GDP and by providing at least 120, 000 jobs across the nation.  Specific states that have the highest video game popularity, like California and Texas, are also benefiting from the industry.  2.1 billion dollars was added to the California economy over a four year period and 490 million dollars was added to the Texas economy.  Some other states, like Pennsylvania and Georgia, that are not key players in the video game industry are trying to entice the industry with tax law incentives to boost their economies.


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