Handbook on the Economics of Leisure
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Handbook on the Economics of Leisure

Edited by Samuel Cameron

Surprisingly, the field of leisure economics is not, thus far, a particularly integrated or coherent one. In this Handbook a wide ranging body of international scholars get to grips with the core issues, taking in the traditional income/leisure choice model of textbook microeconomics and Becker’s allocation of time model along the way. They expertly apply economics to some usually neglected topics, such as boredom and sleeping, work–life balance, dating, tourism, health and fitness, sport, video games, social networking, music festivals and sex. Contributions from further afield by Veblen, Sctivosky and Bourdieu also feature prominently.
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Chapter 19: The Economics of the Video-gaming Leisure Market

Joe Cox


Joe Cox INTRODUCTION Video gaming has become a hugely popular activity within the space of the last few decades. The practice of playing video games can take a variety of forms, ranging from feeding coins into traditional amusement arcade machines to the use of dedicated video-gaming hardware or a personal computer and increasingly to mobile devices such as phones and personal organizers. Despite omission as a category in its own right in Aguiar and Hurst’s (2007) large-scale study into the use of leisure time over the course of the last five decades in the United States, video gaming is a pursuit that is arguably reaching some semblance of maturity in both market development and depth of cultural content. As a result, video gaming is now being taken seriously within the mainstream as a major commercial force in the entertainment industry and as an art form in its own right. In terms of revenues, video gaming has recently grabbed a number of headlines by recording hugely impressive sales figures, especially in the context of the performance of other, more traditionally heralded constituents of the entertainment industry and of the general economic downturn. For example, the 2008 game ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ set a Guinness World Record for the highest ever entertainment earner within the first 24 hours of release, selling 3.6 million units and generating $310 million in revenue (Guinness World Records Gamer Edition, 2008). By comparison, the fastest-selling boxoffice release ever was Spiderman 3 (generating $60 million revenue in 24...

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