And that's just one popular game. I have added a few hours myself to those numbers. To put this into a more comprehensible perspective consider the fact that game sales passed movie ticket revenues up about 5 years ago. I don't think we should be drawing any lessons for libraries from this, I just thought that these numbers should be shared as they lend some perspective on the change happening in society. It would not be foolish to connect this raw data to a previous post I made on human-machine relations. The younger generations are being conditioned to interact, relate, and connect to machines in ways we would never have thought possible.
Anecdotally, I can tell story after story of how so many of my gamer friends prefer virtual versions to their "real" counterparts. In my experience, this tendency is somewhat overestimated, because many of these young gamers and geeks are often socially ostracized or uncomfortable. I came across terms like "socially awkward" and "uncomfortable" over and over in the research I had been doing on my gaming cohort. I also saw evidence that they desired human interaction as well.
What is amazing, however, is that a significant percentage of these Call of Duty gamers are not the hard core gamers and geeks that I had been studying, but rather people more like me who simply wanted to play a lot of Call of Duty. I played because the game was completely immersive, challenging, and fun. Obviously, a lot of people do the same.