Whereas the consoles of the 1970s and '80s -- including Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Sega Master System -- were built around 8-bit processors, today's machines feature 32-, 64-, and even 128-bit processors. This additional power, combined with other nifty components, has added a new dimension to gaming -- literally. Games that formerly took place in 2-D side-scrolling worlds now unfold, more often than not, in glorious 3-D. Furthermore, with so much power at their fingertips, the people who design video games have moved beyond traditional fighting and shooting themes. They are creating fantasy, puzzle-solving, and strategy games -- games that appeal to adults as well as kids, women as well as men. In 1996, the Interactive Digital Software Association reported that 42 percent of video console users were over 18 years old; in 2001, the number had jumped to 57 percent -- and that statistic was gathered before PlayStation 2 went on sale. Video gaming is starting to go mainstream.