After Hours

News flash --- people play video games

There is a rule of thumb in stock investing that says: If the mainstream media is reporting on a study or "recent" development in technology, science, or medicine, whether the news is good or bad, then it is too late to act on that trend or information when it comes to buying or selling stocks. If the mainstream media is running special sections in the paper, or in-depth news reports, then it is really old news they are just getting around to reporting. Whatever up or down movement in a stock's price the news is going to create has already happened.

I bring this up because a "study" has come over the newswire and been picked up by much of the mainstream news outlets regarding gaming console use. For most of the mainstream press the headlines read like this Ziff-Davis entry: "Gaming Becoming Part of U.S. Living Room." To that I say Duh!

To its credit, our sister Web site is much less surprised by the study results with their headline: "Study: U.S. game console ownership rising rapidly." But I am still left with that "Is that really news" feeling.

The study, called "The State of the Console," was conducted from the fourth quarter of 2004 through the fourth quarter of 2006 by Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services. The gist of the article seems like old news to me —- more people are buying video game consoles, more people are playing video games, more people are connecting their consoles to the Internet for interactive play, and less people are watching network programming. These hardly seem like revelations to me and to most of the people I know.

The other shoe of the study is the fact that it does not consider computer gaming at all. So a good portion of the gaming world is not even represented in the statistics.

To me, the study merely confirms the already factored in the stock price fact that gaming is mainstream and the world has changed. There was a time in the past where I would downplay my gaming habits because I knew it was considered an anti-social activity, but not anymore. I play video games. I play computer games. I make no apologies. Hear me roar!

Now, if we can just get the "man" to leave us alone when it comes to online gambling, we would never have to leave the house.

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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