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Online Games Becoming Board Games?

10/02/2012

Hasbro the source of fun and games for kids for generations is moving boldly into uncharted waters. The maker of classic toys like Mr. Potato Head is converting online games into board games. Hasbro announced a collaboration with popular digital game producer Zynga to make home board game versions of some of the most popular social media games. The games Words With Friends, FarmVille, CityVille and Draw Something, will all be going from your digital screen to your kitchen table.

Will this work? We’ll know soon. Several of the new board games will be on the shelves for this holiday season – in the US and around the world.

Hasbro is definitely swimming against the current on this one. Today’s kid’s are saturated by media – at least according to new research by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Experts are calling them the M2 Generation – today’s highly technological children whose lives seem to revolve around the media. And with the constant exposure that children have to television, computers, music, mobile devices, and video games, it seems there is no limit to the amount of time children spend with media devices.

According to the survey, in just five years, media use has increased from 6 ½ to nearly 7 ½ hours a day in children between the ages of 8 and 18. Even more alarming – children have become master multitaskers, often using two or more media devices at the same time. Counting each device separately, these kids have found a way to cram in a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes of media content into those 7 ½ hours.

Children now spend more time with the media than they do with their family, in school, or sleeping.

The extended consumption of media by kids is being blamed for bad behavior and obesity. The Kaiser study draws no such conclusions but it isn’t a stretch to make the connection.

Hasbro may find some people buying their versions of the online games for the novelty of the concept. However it’s unlikely any of the board games will be as popular as the online originals.

I’d suggest Hasbro market the board games as the perfect entertainment to be enjoyed after the coming apocalypse. I realize that’s a little dark…but it may be true.

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