In the beginning, there was "Pong." Thirty years later, video games have spread beyond the arcades and basement lairs of teenage boys.
Fifty percent of Americans now play videogames, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and the average player age, they claim, is 30.
Microsoft's X-Box 360 is making a huge noise this year, the leading edge of a new generation of hyper-sophisticated game technology.
The jungle scenes in "King Kong The Game" put you right in the jungle. "Call of Duty 2" has combat scenes right out of Spielberg. Games, we're told, are the new theater.
Hear about video games and how they are taking the stage.
Nick Wingfield, covers video games and digital technology for the Wall Street Journal
Heather Chaplin, author of "Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution."
This program aired on December 7, 2005.