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National Games Week - November 21-27, 2004

Play games with your family and friends - it's always a good thing to do

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A coalition of game publishers and other game industry professionals have joined together in support of National Games Week, to be celebrated November 21 to 27, 2004.

The goal if the week, according to Mark Simmons, former executive director of the Game Manufacturers Association, is to "promote the educational, social and entertainment value of playing games."

During National Games Week, people across the United States will be encouraged to turn off the television, step away from the computer and play a game. Any sort of game will do -- such as board games, card games, roleplaying games, miniature games and family and party games.

During the past decade, there has been a boom in board game and card game sales -- despite the popularity of video games and other forms of entertainment. In 2004, according to a press release from Matthew Simmons Marketing, board games have already set a sixth straight annual sales record, even before the key Christmas season.

There are literally thousands of games that adults and kids can play together, and everyone can enjoy the social experience of a smart game, some competition and a lot of interaction. The industry has evolved to include about 40,000 products with more than $5 billion in sales expected for 2004, according to the release.

National Games Week is being established as the fourth week of November every year. This year, that makes it November 21-27, a Sunday through Saturday, when families and friends are coming together for the holiday and could use a great activity.

The week coincides with the Million Minute Family Challenge, which challenges everyone to play games and log game-play minutes at www.MillionMinute.com.

"Game enthusiasts already know that games are great, smart entertainment." said Simmons, who also publishes Games Quarterly. "We are encouraging individuals, schools, games stores, organizations, libraries, everyone, to hold a Games Day event during National Games Week, showcasing the fun of game for family and friends."

NGW events will take place, for this inaugural year, in an expected 15,000 homes, schools, churches, colleges, community centers and retail stores. Game retailers will host a variety of related events, while individuals will host events in their homes and elsewhere. Individuals can host an event at home, school, church or anywhere suitable, and invite whomever they want. Additionally, they can contact local game retailers to find out what events they are planning to run. To find such games try local specialty stores, via your phone book, or use the web site www.NationalGamesWeek.net.

The web site also includes information and resources for those who want to host an event.

Sponsors for this year include Wizards of the Coast, Eagle Games, Upper Deck, Pokemon USA, Rio Grande Games and Mayfair Games.

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