ST. CLOUD -  According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 67 percent of American households own a video game system.

The ESA also says that Minnesota (13.2) only trails Colorado (13.4) in percentage of residents that play video games.

Video games are on computers, consoles (XBOX, Playstation), phones, portable devices (Gameboy, PSP) and many other platforms.

Some people want the newest games and others have found a fondness for retro games.

LGS Electronics in St. Cloud, specializes in retro games. On Saturday the store hosted a tournament for a wildly popular retro game called Mario Kart. Competitors ranged in age from elementary age kids to middle age adults.

Josh Nelson is the Owner of LGS Electronics. He says one of the reasons gaming has become so big is because it has become cool in pop culture to play games.

"Now it's like nerd culture is popular, now everyone is doing the gaming stuff. I see kids that buy video games that also are on the sports teams and the wasn't the case when I was a kid."

The $23,500,000,000.00 a year industry is even helping parents connect to their children. Though games have come a long way in the last 20 years, many parents are using games they grew up on and teaching them to their own children.

"A lot of parents are playing with their kids. I kid of think that is what has really helped with retro games, it's parents teaching their kids the games they grew up on."

Nelson even mentioned that certain classic games are able to played easier because companies have started making all-in-one video game consoles that can play games from classic consoles like Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Sega.

Video games have come so far that those who excel at certain games are becoming professionals and making millions of dollars playing those games. There are also websites like YouTube Gaming and Twitch where people can simply watch others play games.


Justin LaBounty WJON