Video games are no longer the nerdy stepchild of popular entertainment. Last year, US sales topped $7 billion, closing in on the $9 billion film industry. Nearly half of all US homes own one game-playing machine, and 23 percent own more than three, according to Nielsen Entertainment. The technical requirements for video games are pushing the most popular technologies – including cell phones, Palm Pilots, computers, and TV – to become more versatile and powerful. College grads are now more likely to head into interactive software than moviemaking.
This industry is now at an important crossroads, say experts, largely due to its explosive growth with the costs to develop a hit new game now topping $10 million. In such a lucrative industry there must be an untapped area yet to be discovered. One area of choice is the advanced usage of gaming in an educational atmosphere. Games are increasingly used to support teaching and learning e. g. , using text adventures to assist in teaching English as a second language.
Another particular review of relevant research indicated that mathematics was a subject where the use of games was usually superior to traditional classroom instruction However this, and several other reviews, were carried out when games were relatively primitive; fewer studies have been undertaken over the last five years, during which games have significantly increased in complexity, and often demand much greater interaction from the user. It does not require a great leap of imagination to extrapolate this database-oriented scenario into a more digital library and teaching-oriented scenario.
Video game manufactures such as Square Soft and E. A Games could greatly benefit from researching and developing a segment into educational gaming. They should segment this market in to an age bracket of 3 to 9 year olds. This will increase brand equity and product recognition at a very young age. As these children get older brand recognition will help them decide which gaming system to buy. By positioning the product as a fun yet new way to learn and targeting schools, daycares, and parents gives them a wide target market with disposable income.