Video Games Are an $18 Bln Industry?

Thursday, May 11th 2006 @ 12:20 PM PDT
By Geoff DuncanStaff Writer, Digital Trends News
A new study finds video games have a bigger impact on the U.S. economy than previously estimated, accounting for perhaps $18 billion in 2004 alone.

A new study commissioned by the Educational Software Association and developed by Robert Crandall and J. Gregory Sidak (PDF) suggests that the video game industry may have a much larger impact on the U.S. economy than previously thought: according to the researchers, video games may have contributed some $18 billion to the U.S. economy in 2004.
The study argues that accounting for game sales (some $10.3 billion in 2004) isn't enough when measuring the overall impact of the industry: one must also consider salaries paid to game developers, corporate employees, and retail workers; the stimulative effect of video game technologies (such as improved graphics controllers) on other industries; and technological transfers from video games to other areas of the economy, such as medicine, corporate and military training, and education.
Overall, the study recommends policymakers be aware of the video game industry's wider importance, rather than merely react in a knee-jerk fashion to moral objections that the industry is harmful to children and youth, both because of the dubious moral content of many games, but also for encouraging a sedentary lifestyle. An interesting take, considering Cradall is a Senior Fellow of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Sidak is a Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, both staunchly conservative organizations.

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