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Sports Illustrated for Kids cheers on video games

September 18, 2008 |  5:55 pm

Sports Illustrated for Kids What grabs more attention than a supermodel in a string bikini? How about Madden NFL video games?

At least when it comes to kids, that is. Sports Illustrated, the magazine famed as much for its annual swimsuit issue as for its thorough sports coverage, has dedicated the October issue of its younger sibling, Sports Illustrated for Kids, to electronic games. SI for Kids splashed the theme on the cover and sprinkled stories about video games throughout its glossy pages.

The magazine has been around for 20 years, but this is the first time it has put out an entire issue with a video games theme. The decision stems from a survey the magazine conducted of its readers, which found that 4 out of 5 of play video games with their friends and spend an average of $77 a month on games.

"Our readers are huge video game fans, so we decided to tie the two together with our October issue," said Karen Dmochowsky, a Sports Illustrated spokeswoman.

No kidding. A survey released this week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project estimated that 97% of kids age 12 to 17 years have played games on computers, consoles or cellphones. They spend an hour or more each time they play. Half said they had played the day before they were surveyed.

So the topic is likely to have a wide appeal for the magazine's readers, who are generally 7 to 15 years old. Possibly even more so than the women in bathing suits who grace the covers of Sports Illustrated for grownups.

-- Alex Pham