Is 2007 the big breakthrough year for games entering mass media consciousness?
Games have been blips on the radar on and off for a while, but it seems as though things are gathering substantial steam lately.
For example, I barely watch any TV at all and even I haven't been able to avoid seeing the hypnotic BioShock commercials. At a recent party I attended, people who were obviously not gamers were discussing it over chips and salsa. Not in any detail, but more like asking each other if they had heard or seen it and if so, what did they know?
An even bigger example is the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. The magazine has featured video game reviews sporadically, usually months apart and only very sparse coverage even then. Flipping through his pages this afternoon, there was a two-page story on Halo 3 and how it's expected to log the biggest single-day gross of any product, in any media, ever.
... and if that wasn't proof enough, Brain Age 2 was advertised on two half-page spots in the popular movie reviews section. I don't think I've ever seen a videogame advertised in such a mainstream magazine before. Maybe getting Nicole Kidman to do a commercial for the title was worth its weight in gold?
There are a handful of other examples (Wii at the watercooler, anyone?) but this year more than others before it seems as though games are getting greater attention and going higher-profile then they've done in the past—and people thought to be traditionally non-gamers seem to be listening.