Are you sitting down? Ok, then here it goes: The most popular game of all time is Windows Solitaire.
No, not Gears of War; or Halo 1-3, or even the record-breaking Grand Theft auto IV. Solitaire. Boring old single-player Solitaire, or "Patience" to the British.
It makes perfect sense, according to Slate, which has up this week an expose on every office worker and housewife's favorite freeware title. Sure, it's installed on every Windows machine as they leave the factory, but that doesn't take away from the fact that everyone has played this "video game" at least once. The same can't be said of games like Halo, can it?
"Though on its face it might seem trivial, pointless, a terrible way to waste a beautiful afternoon, etc., solitaire has unquestionably transformed the way we live and work," writes Slate's Josh Levin. "Computer solitaire propelled the revolution of personal computing, augured Microsoft's monopolistic tendencies, and forever changed office culture. It has also helped the human race survive innumerable conference calls and airplane trips. If solitaire is not the most important computer program of all time, it is at least in the top two, along with Minesweeper."
Bottom line, Solitaire is the most popular, addictive, and time-consuming video game ever created by man. And it hasn't really made any money. In fact, studies show workers playing Solitaire on the clock actually waste money by being unproductive. Kind of makes all this console war stuff seem kind of silly, doesn't it?