Who Is Playing Games--and Why

Imagine, if you will, the average games player. What do you see? A twitchy teenager mashing buttons on his controller, lost and alone in a violent onscreen world? Or a sad-sack Peter Pan type, the geek who never grew up? Sorry, you lose. The average American gamer is starting to look, well, pretty much like the average American. For the first time, according to a poll commissioned by AOL Games and obtained exclusively by TIME, roughly half of Americans ages 12 to 55 are tapping away at some kind of electronic game--whether on a console, a PC, a cell phone or...

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