Whom do you picture when you hear the word "gamer?"
A young guy?
Think again. According to a new study by NPD Group, a technology research firm, 44% of gamers are female. But here's what's even more surprising. The largest category of gamers consists of players between the ages of 2 and 12.
The line between "real" and virtual play is disappearing. While teenagers and adults inhabit social networks like Facebook, kids interact in training-wheel worlds such as Toontown, Webkinz, Neopets, and Club Penguin. The kids then graduate from these experiences ready to join the urgently tweeting masses. Maybe it's time to retire the word "gamer," and accept that we're all playing in digital worlds in one form or another.