Idol Chatter

gta4pic.jpgThere’s a new release out that piled up well over $500 million—that’s “Fiiiive Hundred Meeeellion Dollarzzz”—in its first week of release, including a whopping $310 million in it’s opening day. What a blockbuster!
But it wasn’t the new Indiana Jones movie. It wasn’t a Star Wars sequel. In fact, it wasn’t a movie at all.
It wasn’t a new U2 Release, or Sting, or Beyonce or Bruce Springsteen. In fact, it wasn’t even a song or an album.
It wasn’t the newest “Harry Potter” story or a Michael Crichton thriller. In fact, it wasn’t even a book.
What then, you ask, could possibly gross more that $500 million?
In a summer packed with sequels, the sequel that grossed the big number was none other than “Grand Theft Auto IV.”
That’s right, a video game!

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., “Grand Theft Auto IV’s” publisher, reported that “the video game has surpassed all-time entertainment records for Day 1 and Week 1 sales by dollar value,” according to The Canadian Press.
And, it’s getting rave reviews from just about everyone except parents and watchdog groups. “Grand Theft Auto IV” is rated M (mature), primary due to the strong presence of murder, carjacking, and assault.
This signifies how giant the gap is between what young people are buying and being influenced by as compared to their parents. Granted, a good video game can run well over $50 while a movie ticket is only $12, but the numbers are nevertheless impressive and revealing. The investment alone ($100 million to produce, advertise, and distribute) should tell us that advertisers and marketers know where the audience is and it sure ain’t where it was when we grew up!
If you have kids and/or support their video game habit, I suggest you review their games as thoroughly as you do their TV watching, movies, and computer access. The interactive stuff may someday become more appealing than the 2-dimensional flat screen. There’s an old adage that teachers know about our learning process: “Tell me and I’ll hear; Show me and I’ll know; Engage me, and I’ll remember?” Kids are disengaging from parents who talk at them while gravitating to video games. Parents are disengaging from their kids who’re off playing games as opposed to visiting buddies playing on teams. I’m not sure it’s good for us.

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