Financial worries are forcing us all to tighten our belts, and encouraging a sort of "make do and mend" culture across the country. Sales of sewing machines are on the up, says Argos, as people take to customising their own clothes rather than splashing out on new threads; bread-making machines, too, are enjoying a surge in popularity, says Comet, with people opting to bake their own loaves to save dough.
Despite these straitened times, the video-games industry is enjoying record sales, even as spending on other entertainment declines. According to the latest figures, more video games were bought last year than DVDs. Sales were up 20 per cent, raking in $32 billion (£22 billion), while sales of films on DVD and Blu-ray, by contrast, dropped by 6 per cent, earning just $29 billion worldwide.
It seems that consumers are quickly warming to the idea of video games not only as a good-value form of entertainment, but as something that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities, together, as a social activity.