LOS ANGELES: Video games are transforming technology, education and the US economy, a trade leader proclaimed yesterday at the world's largest computer games show.
Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein backed his claim with a new study that concluded the multi-billion dollar industry was growing fast and stimulating innovation in areas ranging from medicine to anti-terrorism technology.
"The video game industry is playing a pivotal role in shaping the economy of tomorrow," Lowenstein said at a Press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
"Clearly, this is an industry that is much more than just fun and games." The study, titled "Video Games: Serious Business for America's Economy," predicted that US video game software sales would reach $15 billion and the industry would support more than 250,000 high-skilled jobs by 2010.
The US "millennial generation," people ages 10 to 30, will reach 75 million by that same year and "every one of those millennials will have grown up with video games as a central part of their DNA," Lowenstein said.
"Video games are the rock-and-roll of the millennial generation," Lowenstein said. "And the 'Sims' and 'Halo' are the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead."
The tendency for political and business leaders to trivialise and marginalise video game playing would likely wane as the generational divide narrowed, Lowenstein predicted.
Efforts to improve game speeds, graphics and sounds has driven technology advances that have spilled into mobile telephones, PCs, medical and military gear, the studies concluded.
E3, billed as the world's premier interactive entertainment event, is in its 12th year and some 400 companies have come to tout their software, electronics and accessories. Computer game titans Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft were among companies that converged on the Los Angeles Convention Centre for the event, which runs until tomorrow.