Anxious about the mental cost of aging, older people are turning to games that rely on quick thinking to stimulate brain activity, according to the New York Times. Casual gaming site PopCap Games, for example, says last year 71 percent of its players were older than 40, and 47 percent were older than 50; moreover, 76 percent of PopCap players were women.
Pogo.com is getting similar results. According to Electronic Arts, the game publisher that runs the site, people 50 and older accounted for 28 percent of visitors in February - but also for more than 40 percent of total time spent on the site. And, on average, women spent 35 percent longer on the site each day than men.
"Baby boomers and up are definitely our fastest-growing demographic, and it is because the fear factor is diminishing," said Beatrice Spaine, Pogo.com's marketing director. "Women come for the games, but they stay for the community. Women like to chat, and these games online are a way to do that. It's kind of a MySpace for seniors."
And, apparently, the Nintendo Wii is becoming a hit in retirement facilities. Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities, which manages 18 campuses around the country with 19,000 total residents, is installing the consoles at each location.
Long tagged the pursuit of choice for teenage males, the profile of today's gamer casts a broad demographic net, reports Ad Age. Today, teenagers account for only 17 percent.
The popularity of online gaming comprises the source of the shift, according to an NPD study entitled Online Gaming 2007: The Virtual Landscape.
Advertising in games is a $200 million industry, with multiplayer online games accounting for just 19 percent of gamers. Casual gaming, or card, puzzle and arcade games, accounts for 44 percent of all gamers. This category has been especially savory for advertisers.
Seventeen percent of gamers keep online casinos afloat, while at the other end of the spectrum, 20 percent of gamers include kids aged 6 to 12. Fifty-four percent of gamers are console owners, while 41 percent are on a handheld system, like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.
Surprisingly, women represent 42 percent of gamers and typically play casual, single-person games online. And finally, 80 percent of online gamers hail from middle class backgrounds, pulling in between $35,000 to $75,000 per year.
1. Winner will win an all-expenses paid trip to Essen, Germany, from 19-22 October, with accommodation at Hotel Movenpick (one of the best hotels in Essen!) for 3 nights.
2. Winner will be given free entry to Spiel'07, the largest euro game convention in the world, for 4 days (18-21).
3. If winner wishes to attend all 4 days of Spiel'07, he/she will have to bear cost of 2 night's accommodation.
4. The tournament proper is on Saturday. Finals is on Sunday.
5. We will only be sponsoring 1 representative - the winner. The runner-up will be offered a place. but at their own expense, unless we/he/she finds a sponsor.
6. In the event that the winner is unable to make the trip, the runner-up will go in his/her place.
7. The basic obligations of the winner include:
a. Not embarass Malaysia, or Imagine Games, or Malaysian gamers.
b. Serve as assistant buyer and box mover for Imagine Games (last year we moved 40 boxes).
c. Not borrowing money from Imagine Games to buy all the goodies at Essen!
1st Qualifier: 29 June - 1 July, Asia Game Zone, KL Convention Center (2 seats).
2nd Qualifier: 14 July 2007, Mage Cafe, Damansara Jaya (2 seats).
3rd Qualifier: 28 July 2007, Toybox, Petlaing Jaya (2 seats).
4th Qualifier: 11 August 2007, boardgamecafe, Cheras (2 seats).
5th Qualifier: 25 August 2007, MySciFiFan OUTPOST, Cineleisure Mall (2 seats).
Finals: 8 September 2007, To be announced.
**Last year's two representatives (Ryan & Kok Keong) receive straight entry into the National finals.
**Last year's other finalists will be invited to play in a seperate qualifier offering 4 seats.
**Proposed hosts please confirm the dates assigned to you.
Malaysian final details
1. There will be 16 seats/4 tables in the finals.
2. Each player will play 4 games.
3. Player with the most wins will be the winner.
**This format is similar to the international finals.
Last year saw more than 80 unique participants, many of them newbies who picked up the game from a 6 week long Starbucks-Settlers promotion.
We are hoping for just as many, if not more, participants this year, so please spread the word!
And for all the gamers who did not participate last year... PLEASE, even though you may not like the game, do take part to show your support for the gaming community!
PLEASE do not be one of those geeks who proclaim their love, devotion and authority in euro games, but would not take a little effort to support the only, biggest and most prestigious euro game tournament in the country!
GOOD LUCK! See you in Essen!
When - Friday (29 June 07) - Sunday (1 July 07). Next week!
Where - KL Convention Center; as part of Asia Game Zone 2007.
Time - 11am to 9pm (8pm on Sunday).
While I'm sure many gamers will be rejoicing with this announcement, here comes the tough part - in order to make this happen, we need 44 volunteers to man 18 games + 1 registration desk + 1 store, over 3 days.
Please volunteer your time to make this happen! As it is, we are fortunate that we do not have to find a sponsor for RM100K, and all we desperately need now are some arms & legs!
Here are the shifts:
Friday A: 11am - 4pm.
Friday B: 4pm - 9pm.
Saturday A: 11am - 4pm.
Saturday B: 4pm - 9pm.
Sunday A: 11am - 4pm.
Sunday B: 3pm - 8pm.
We will showcase the non-electronic gaming section of the convention:
A. Miniatures to PC games: Warhammer 40K. 2 tables; 1 volunteer per table. Warhammer 40K rookie tournament will run between open demo.
B. Euro to PC games: 1 volunter per game. Tournaments will run between open demos.
a. Settlers qualifiers.
b. Carcassonne qualifiers.
c. Blokus nationals.
d. Memoir'44 nationals.
C. PC sports counterpart: Subbuteo table soccer. 2 tables. 1 volunteer per table. Open demos only.
D. PC to euro games: 1 volunteer per game. Some games rotated. Open demos only.
a. World of Warcraft board + CCG.
b. Marvel Heroes + VS CCG.
c. Battlelore + Iliade.
d. Doom + Tide of Iron.
E. Party Games: 1 volunteer per game. Some games rotated. open demos only.
a. Villa Paletti + Hamsterrolle.
b. Jungle Speed + Halli Galli.
F. PC sci-fi/fantasy counterpart: 1 volunteer per game. Open demos only.
c. Savage World.
d. Star Wars.
Please volunteer for more than 1 session/day if you can! We need all the help we can get.
NO MORE TALK FOR GAMECON... TIME HAS COME FOR ACTION!
While waiting for GameCon2 or mini-GameCon to materialize, why not put our heads together to find a suitable venue and organize another Euro Games Retreat for 2007.
I am currently looking at the June 8-9 weekend in Genting Highlands (which coincides with the International Jazz Festival) to offer some alternatives to family members to join group but are not into Euro-gaming. It could also offer a good break between gaming in the daytime and partying to Jazz in the evening.
Any other alternatives?
The man with 1,300 games ... all above board
By Rob Preece
FOR many, they are synonymous with family rows and squabbles, but board games provide the highlight of the week for Yorkshire man Jon Power.
And Mr Power, 42, from York, has plenty to choose from â€“ he has collected more than 1,300 games, each requiring different strategies. In just 10 years, he has spent more than Â£10,000 on board games â€“ the price of five nights in a hotel on Mayfair for an unlucky Monopoly player.
Now many more people have caught the bug, and players flock from across the north of England to attend regular gaming sessions in York.
Mr Power, who works in insurance, said: "I have well over 1,300 items in my collection. Out of that, there are a few extension games, but I must have getting on for 1,000 totally different board games.
"If I was collecting records or books, I could read or listen to them on my own. But if you want to play a board game, you have to get people around to play it.
"Of all my collection, I've probably only played about 40 per cent of the games. There are always new games coming out."
Mr Power, a bachelor, said he began collecting 10 years ago after he became bored of playing computer games.
He said: "I started buying board games but, at first, I couldn't find anything I really liked. They were either roll-and-move games like Monopoly or they had lots of rules I couldn't get my head around.
"It was 1996 or 1997 when some friends of mine asked me to come over and play a game they had ordered, called Settlers of Catan. It completely changed my life."
Mr Power believes that, to find games which promote co-operation and avoid family arguments, shoppers should look to an unlikely source â€“ Germany.
American companies are translating German-made games for English speakers, and the adaptations are proving a hit on tables across Britain.
Mr Power said: "The games are designed to have lots of player interaction.
"They are very competitive, but they are very positive and constructive.
"You aren't attacking other people and you don't get eliminated from the game. Compare that to Monopoly.
"Monopoly takes hours and hours to play. Once you've been around the board a few times and the properties are all gone, there's nothing to do.
"Generally, if you ask anyone who has played Monopoly whether it has ever ended up in a fight, more often than not people say it has."
Mr Power is so hooked on 'Eurogames', as German games are known by enthusiasts, that he makes annual excursions to try new products on the market.
But instead of taking a trip to Marylebone Station or advancing to Pall Mall, he joins 1,500 other fans in Essen, Germany, each year for a four-day games festival.
Some of the games in Mr Power's collection have a Yorkshire connection. Rosenk'nig, for example, allows players to relive the War of the Roses in their living room.
And players of the railway-themed game Stephenson's Rocket can visit locations including Leeds and York on their travels across the board.
In 2005, Mr Power set up the board game group Beyond Monopoly! so that more players could meet and get involved.
The group meets at the Railway Institute, in Queen Street, York, on the first and third Saturday of each month.
Mr Power said: "We had 12 or 13 people at the first meeting, but at the last meeting we had 38.
"We've got a big collection of games, and it's a very positive and constructive hobby.
"People come in and bring their children. They come and play one game and that's it â€“ they're hooked.
"A lot of the games we play can be very quick, perhaps lasting half an hour or an hour."
Last Updated: 10 April 2007
|MANY would think that with the rise of fancy gadgets and online networking, board games are a thing of the past.|
If youâ€™re one of them, then step into MySciFiFan Outpost at Cineleisure Damansara and be enlightened.
Officially launched last month as a hobby centre-cum-movie cafe, the Outpost offers tons of board games, not just for your buying pleasure but to play in-house as well.
â€œWednesdays are our designated Board Games Day.
From 8pm to 10pm, patrons would come in and play whatever board games that are available at the store.
They are also encouraged to bring in their own board games so others can learn to play those as well,â€ said Outpost manager Richard Chua.
The Outpost schedules a board game party every month.
This is merely to allow board game fanatics to gather and mingle, and also to introduce new games.
Board game parties are also held for children, but only upon request, added Chua.
â€œHere, Mondays are dedicated to Comic Super Heroes where fans meet up to discuss or trade their comic books.
Tuesdays are for Sci-fiTV series, such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Babylon 5 and the like.
â€œThursdays are reserved for Star Trek, where â€˜Trekkiesâ€™ get together and talk Trekkie stuff.
On Fridays, we have anything and everything on Star Wars.â€
On weekends, Transformers fans or fans of other anime cartoon series would gather on Saturdays while Sundays are left to be free and easy, unless there are workshops held at the Outpost, said Chua.
MySciFiFan was initially established in 2000 as an e-mail discussion group for genre fans and has since expanded to offl ine fan gatherings throughout the years.
Aside from board games, the Outpost is also the official venue for most of MySciFiFan events and activities which include costume play (cosplay), collectible swaps and theme parties.
In addition to the workshops by MySciFiFan costuming experts, the Outpost also hosts workshops by the Selangor and Federal Territory Plastic Modelersâ€™ Society on painting miniature figurines, weathering vehicles and plaster building, as well as modeling clinics for general help and assistance to modelers.
(c) 2007 The Malay Mail
When do we start applying for spaces to run games?
Don't think I'll be running Dark Age this time, but thinking about running a Savage Worlds game......... maybe a Zombie-Fest?
I would really appreciate if some members can help me as to which countries have board game cafes in the world. I would also be happy if some enthusiasts can email me articles on how the latest wave of euro board gaming cafes started etc. I am doing a research on board game cafes and would be extremely thankful if someone can help me. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org