Video gamers get their skates on for Winter Olympics

Thu Feb 4, 2010 3:20pm EST
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By John Gaudiosi

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As top athletes from around the world gear up for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, video gamers can also lace up the skates or strap on the snowboard in a trio of titles bringing winter sports to life.

Japanese game maker Sega, which won the publishing rights for the official 2010 Winter Olympics video games, has two releases out aimed at extending the Winter Games beyond a few weeks.

Sega released "Vancouver 2010 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games" on January 12 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, with 14 events like alpine skiing, speed skating and snowboard cross, giving fans a taste of the real experience.

"The fact that so many kids are playing video games these days, this game allows them to discover these sports in a different way," said Kristina Groves, a Canadian speedskater.

Groves shares the cover of "Vancouver 2010" with Lindsey Vonn (U.S. alpine skier), Seth Wescott (U.S. snowboarder) and Matthew Morison (Canadaian snowboarder).

"Growing up it was watching the Olympics on TV that inspired me to try speed skating, but if video games can entertain kids and hopefully inspire them to try these sports, I'm all for it," said Groves.

Last fall, Sega also released "Mario & Sonic at the Vancouver Winter Games" for Wii and Nintendo DS.

The first partnership between once-rivals Sega and Nintendo, "Mario & Sonic at the Beijing Summer Games" sold over 10 million copies worldwide.   Continued...