As Sony and Nintendo battle it out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in L.A. this week, there's a different type of article that might catch the eye of libraries looking toward a future trend that talks about "casual gaming". Casual games are low graphic games like Zuma that provide relaxation rather than adrenaline rushes. The market is geared for women over 35 and the industry expects to make some money this year. According to Washington Post reporter Mike Muscove's article, Simplicity Wins With Non-Gamers, "Game industry research firm DFC Intelligence reports that casual games will generate $458 million in revenue this year, compared with $314 million last year. " So why is this something we want to look at? It tells us that there is a growing target audience of people who are hip and looking to relax. Right now they are women over 35 but as the market expands we can guess that although the market will probably stay with women, the age span will increase. Whether you are a student, parent or career person, stress is stress and if casual games are offering releif then we need to look at how we can connect to that in our libraries. We need to ask ourselves, what products does our library have that meets the needs of this group? If you begin to look for the connection, you'll begin to see all kinds of openings.
Speaking of connections... a couple of years ago a creative guy at the Ocean County Library named Scott Wolpert came up with a neat game of "Coolopoly" as a fun teaching game about collections. Based on the Monopoly model it fun to play and a great learning tool. Musgrove found his own version of teaching games about the FOSE government tech trade show. His article, A Low-Tech Game's Lessons For the High-Tech World, talks about the Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. booth where they were introducing their new CIO Wargame. Booz Allen is marketing it as a tool to get its clients thinking in new ways about how to get organized; the firm hopes to start taking this game to its customers, the government agencies and major corporations that helped Booz Allen bring in $3.5 billion in revenue last year. Not bad money for low-tech gaming! Something to think abut when setting up your own training programs!
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Categories: "Marketing", "Connecting the Dots", "Trend spotting"