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Five myths about video games

Why they aren’t as scary or one-dimensional as many parents think.

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In this image released by Electronic Arts/Maxis, concept art for a waterfront city is shown for the video game "SimCity."
Electronic Arts/Maxis/AP
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1. They’re only for kids

Hardly. The most popular video game is Solitaire – not exactly the favorite action game of testosterone-driven 16-year-olds. In fact, 25 percent of players are over age 50. The average age of players in the United States is 37. One reason for the interest among older people is that the first generation of video gamers, who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, are now adults and want to continue to slay dragons and slap digital tennis balls. Yet it is true that young people are far more likely to play. A survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project released in 2008 found that 97 percent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 play video games.

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