Via Ars Technica:
As gaming enters the mainstream and video game consoles become as ubiquitous in entertainment centers as DVD players, the industry has become an important economic driver of the United States economy. The economic effects of the video game business economically haven’t faced much serious study to date, but the Electronic Software Association took the task upon themselves with a new report. Titled Video Games in the 21st Century: Economic Contributions of the U.S. Entertainment Software Industry, it found that the US video game industry grew a whopping 17 percent from 2003 to 2006, far outpacing the 4 percent general growth of the US economy. Retail sales totaled $7.0 billion in 2005, and sales of games for both PCs and consoles grow from 74.1 million units in 1996 to over 250 million units last year.