New Depression Continues; Pro Gamers, Dogs Hit Hardest

Won't someone please think of the gamers? Today the Times considers the plight in these hard times of professional competitive gamers who had been living off cash prizes from tournaments but, as "the professional sport of gaming has nearly collapsed," must take jobs for which their other talents suit them -- like Emmanuel Rodriguez, once a salaried franchise player, now a Sam's Club customer service agent. "It's kind of like someone hit the reboot button on gaming," says another disenfranchised Nintendist.

Video games themselves remain healthy, with sales in January and February up 11 percent. "Videogame sales have been impacted the least from the global recession," says a games executive, "and there are no real signs of it slowing," though the industry is taking no chances and has started reaching out to its growing female users, as shown by the 14 million sales of Wii Fit balance boards.

Maybe this portends a return to pro-gaming profitability via Dance Dance Revolution Marathons. Hey, it worked in the last Depression.

Meanwhile we have other unexpected victims with whom to sympathize. Won't someone please think of the New Depression pets? The Times' heart also bleeds for animal companions whose impoverished owners have abandoned them and in some cases cut back on their salon grooming. "I'm sorry my dog is a mess," one salon owner hears from her clients, "But I don't have a job." Buddy, can you spare a wash and rinse? Loldog (cc) klynslis.


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