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Chips, Dip and Nintendo Wii

Just after Christmas last year, Evite staffers began to notice Nintendo's Wii video-game system popping up in search queries, idea forums and party themes. In fact, they were seeing more than 100 Wii parties a month. So in March, the online-party-invite specialist launched dedicated Wii party-planning pages. This month, it added invitations including actual Wii avatars, games and themes.

The Wii party popularity is part of a growing phenomenon that's overhauling the video-gaming industry. That is, video gaming is beginning to transcend the solitary boy-in-the-basement stereotype with a new generation of gamers including women, older people and younger children who want to play in a more social atmosphere.

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