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While our two-year-old grandson was visiting us from Texas, he brought his own ” ‘puter.”

One pre-loaded game was choosing different foods for different animals.  My own favorite game was free-hand painting.  With one of the “brushes,” we were able to paint realistic bubbles!  Only problem, we couldn’t save our art-work!

Our daughter had her version of the same device – a Kindle? – for much more adult things, like reading books.

Gaming has been a part of our family since “Pong” on Magnavox,   Then it was Commodore 64, Atari, Nintendo Playstation, etc.  A vast majority of our children and our grandchildren have at least one “platform” for gaming, if not several.

eBashLogoIn fact, one of our sons is now host at a video gaming center in Indianapolis, a place called “eBash.”

It seems you never outgrow your need for gaming.  In fact, the WASHINGTON POST says gaming is now bigger and better than ever.  Below are some fascinating quotes from their latest article (Nov. 22, 2014).   Got game?

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The crowd roars. The players take the field. And then they boot up their game controllers.  Wait, what?

That’s right, video gaming is a spectator sport. And a big one. Thousands of fans in Europe and Asia flock to see their favorite “esports” professionals fight it out in games such as “Battlefield” or “League of Legends.”

In May, a tournament run by the Electronic Sports League filled Frankfurt’s 35,000-seat Commerzbank-Arena to watch a “Defense of the Ancients 2” tournament — complete with color commentary, star players and a grand prize of more than $200,000.

* 60 percent of Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, an industry trade group. That’s more than the percentage of Americans who tuned into the last Super Bowl , pay for cable or subscribe to Netflix.

* Gaming inspired three of the biggest deals in business this year: Microsoft’s $2.5 billion deal for the “Minecraft” game studio, Mojang; Amazon’s $1 billion acquisition of the game-streaming social network Twitch; and Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of the virtual reality gaming firm Oculus VR.

* dozens of schools . . . .  now offer degrees in game design.

 * Last year, the movie industry pulled in $10.9 billion at the U.S. box office.  The music industry reported $7 billion in sales.  Game sales tallied more than both, combined, at $21 billion.

 * the market is poised to become even broader as parents share a passion for gaming with their children

* more adult women than teenage boys identify as video game players

* ESPN is even getting into the action. The network’s streaming arm, ESPN3, aired its first esports coverage this year of a tournament at Seattle’s Key Arena

* As exciting as playing the big stadiums is, the audience is even bigger online. Some tournaments have logged up to 23 million concurrent viewers. That’s roughly the same number of people that tuned in to watch the Game 7 of this year’s World Series.

* Rutenbeck is launching a journalism fellowship at American University to figure out how game development can help writers. Feinstein, the historian, is also the creative director at a firm that devises games for museum exhibits.

NOTE: eBash is on Facebook

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