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E3: New Video Games on the Way

June 27, 2014

59% of Americans play video games. The average age for a game player is 31...

LOS ANGELES, CA (K-LOVE News) -- What’s frustrating about picking out gifts can be balancing knowing what people like with the gift itself. It’s less of a problem for shirts and socks, but if you know someone into video games -- that can be a challenge. Between the actual content of the game and whether it’s even any good -- at roughly $60 a pop, it’s a wise to have an idea what to look for before you even start the gift search. 

I covered the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Exposition) in Los Angeles recently. The event features all the latest and greatest developments in the video game industry, many will be rolled out in time for Christmas shopping.

Here are some examples:

SEGA and Nintendo teamed up for “Sonic Boom,” starring the charmingly hyper-active hedgehog Sonic. But this time around SEGA is having Sonic share the spotlight with his best friends and learn some important life lessons, like trying to be a little less impulsive. SEGA producer Steven Frost tells K-LOVE News they also wanted to encourage gamers to play with their parents or friends as they stop Lyric’s nefarious schemes. 

Disney teamed up with Japanese publisher Square Enix to create the franchise “Kingdom Hearts,” which features Haley Joel Osment. The franchise enjoyed a lot of success starring both companies’ brightest stars, not the least of which were Mickey, Donald and Goofy, and some interesting new ones.  Essentially a remix of “Kingdom Hearts 2,” originally for PlayStation 2, it’s been upgraded for PlayStation 3 and is being launched with a lot of new content, some of which was only available in Japan. 

“Little Big Planet” is what they call a puzzle platform series. It’s a fancy way of saying, while the story of the game’s knitted-sack character SackBoy, may not be well developed, it features a lot of challenging problems players have to use their brains to solve. That’s a lot easier to do playing with a group of friends, which makes the game more of a social event. 

Publishing giant Electronic Arts announced another instalment to their “Dragon Age” series. The franchise is set in a medieval fantasy world complete with knights, dragons and magic. Characters lead expeditions to find out why abominations and monsters are appearing throughout the world and most importantly, stop them by restoring balance. The game does contain some more mature themes, just to let you know. 

Activision’s military series “Call of Duty” is taking an interesting speculative look at what may happen 40 years from now. The title features Kevin Spacey, who plays the head of a private military-contracting firm intent on supplanting democracy, particularly in the United States.  It brings up some interesting social morality points about an industry that actually does exist and technology like the U.S. Army’s Exo-Suit that could be in mass production soon. Since it’s about warfare, naturally it contains violence, but a powerful storyline.  Still it’s probably better for older gamers, not kids. 

Lots of players, lots of money

Video games are a huge industry. Fifty-nine percent of Americans play video games. The average age of a gamer  is 31, with 52% men and 48% women. Total spending on games in 2013 was just over $21-billion, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

As gaming technology advances it's changing entertainment on a lot of levels, hopefully for the better. If games are on this year’s gift list, we hope this report helped out a bit. If you’re concerned about the content of any game, check out the ESRB rating of a game, which can be found on box packaging.

 

© 2014 K-LOVE News

 

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