Extreme gamers


Think you’re playing way too much videogames and calling yourself hardcore? Think again.

A new study from market research firm NPD Group, says that to be considered among the real hardcore you’ll need to play an average of 48.5 hours a week or nearly seven hours a day. Yup. An entire workday just playing videogames.

According to the report, these extreme gamers are averaged 29 years old, and form a small minority of 4 percent of the United State’s 174-million strong gaming public. Most of them are console gamers that have bought 24 titles in the past three months, which means they are probably quite rich. But the most shocking fact of the report is that one-third of these hardcore gamers are female.

The NPD group has released the 2010 edition of its Gamer Segmentation report, which looks into gaming and game purchasing habits. The report separates gamers into seven different segments: Extreme Gamers, Avid PC Gamers, Heavy Portable Gamers, Console Gamers, Online PC Gamers, Offline PC Gamers, and Secondary Gamers. The results were gathered from a January 2010 online survey that polled around 20,000 members of an NPD Group consumer panel.

Overall, time spent playing games rose from an average of 12.3 hours per week last year to 13 this year, the survey found. Both console and PC games posted increases, with the PC growing significantly faster than the consoles—but portable gaming hours, on the other hand, dove 16 percent.

I haven’t heard of a similar report being done here in the country, but it would really be interesting to find out just how many hardcore gamers living on a “pancit-canton” diet are out there.

___ X-Play, the casual games division of IP e-Games, started their mall tour with the Pop Girls, the newest addition to their hottest gaming barkada. The Pop Girls recently released a repackaged album under Audition Dance Battle with the song, “Sige Sayaw” made exclusively for Audition. If the success of the previous project with Rhian Ramos is any indication, this should prove to be a great cooperative effort.

Franco Santos, the Product Manager of Audition says, “The Pop Girls could prove to be the beginning of Pinoy Pop. Their addition to our Hottest Gaming Barkada will benefit both the girls and our community.”

Adi Yapyuco, assistant product manager of audition, explains, “The Pop Girls are a great group of girls.
Their image is fresh and clean with songs that have a high recall.”

The girls performed to a crowd of over 500 registered Audistas at SM Manila and hundreds of spectators at the Cyberzone area. Audistas, girls and boys alike were screaming the names of their favorite Pop Girls members. Some of the more fanatic Audistas even grabbed their hands and attempted to climb on stage.

George Royeca, Chief Operating Officer of X-Play, plans to keep running with this momentum with the music video for “Sige Sayaw.” The video is tentatively scheduled for filming and release this June. “We had huge success with the Rhian Ramos and Audition album last year. Rhian was able to reach an entirely new audience when she became a part of the Hottest Gaming Barkada. With the help of the Audition Dance Battle community, ‘You’ was able to get to the Top 4 of the MYX Countdown and stay on the countdown for a solid month.”

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The marriage and blind date booths at school fairs may have just seen its last sunlight just like the era of phone pals and pen pals. And now that the chatlines and social networking sites are quickly being threatened by the “jejemon invasion” online Romeos and Juliets badly need a new way of hooking up.

Thankfully, gamers got a chance to check out the newest twist in romance—iDate, last week at the SM Marikina Cyberzone. iDate brings together dancing and dating and gives you the chance to meet new friends and acquaintances by casual dating and flirting. It’s definitely romance in the time of MMOGs, as the first iDate iBall drew hundreds of spectators and participants enthusiastic to try out the game and meet the people behind the cute avatars. The venue transformed into an iDate dance room, as players got the chance to strut their stuff by dressing up like their avatars or compete in the four and eight key team battle tournaments.

After its commercial launch aptly done in the month of hearts, iDate has kept the keyboards hot with its unique inception of dance-game-dating concept. Published by Gamesoft, iDate boasts of excellent graphics and animation, cool music and exclusive features. It has three modes that cater to practically every gamer, whatever the purpose—Normal, for those who are playing strictly for competition; Hunting for the more sociable players; and Meeting mode for those who want to be a target for Cupid.

For competitors, the challenge never ends with the standard multi-level rankings for each player, plus, just recently, the addition of the eight-key function. Countless virtual rooms can also be created for socializing, dancing and romancing. For more information, check out www.idate.ph

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Ask any parent about taking care of a child and they will tell you that it is not all fun and games—until now. From Majesco, the company that brought us Cooking Mama, comes Baby Sitting Mama, a game that will attempt to capture the fun of burping and changing diapers. But unlike the entirely virtual Cooking Mama, this new game will attempt to bridge the gap between game and baby with an interesting new peripheral.

After the gloves, clubs, rackets, swords and other strange add ons, the Wii is about to get its cuddliest control peripheral yet—a baby.

The simulation game will be delivered with an adorable plush baby doll that the babysitter tucks the Wii Remote into in order to interact with the doll and game at the same time. According to Majesco, players can “enjoy more than 40 activities using the doll and Nunchuk controller: rock the baby to sleep; bounce the baby; feed, bathe, change and play with the baby, plus much more.” The game features six different babies, various environments and even a two-player mode in case being a virtual single parent becomes too much of a headache.

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