ESPN [Disney/Hearst]: sports & video games

As if it needed any evidence that video games are the sports of the 21st century, ESPN has announced it’ll add a slew of 40 games to its site. Under the name ESPN Arcade, created in collaboration with casual & advergame developer Skyworks, sports fans can play online and collect trophies and other obviousness.

The article talks about “80 – 100 million monthly online gamers in the U.S. alone,” alleged by comScore Media Matrix. Put differently, the numbers total to “16 billion monthly minutes.” Wow. That sounds like a huge number. A huge inflated number. Why not claim 960 billion seconds? Sigh.

I’m also reading that the average “active male gamer” will spend 12 hours per week playing online.” Or, quickly calculated, about 50 hours a month. So what I would like to know is where the regular gamers are? Are there any left? I wonder if you’d combine all these numbers from the various gaming branches – MMOGs, console, PC, etc. – if you’d come up with some unruly average of 34 hours of game time per day. Which is probably why we don’t have time to play sports anymore to begin with.

Back on topic, ESPN is also partnering with EA, hosting interviews with “cover atheletes” and using EA Sport’s game engines to simulate sports events.

[ESPN is based in Bristol, CT, and 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. and 20 percent by The Heart Corporation.]

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