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PC Gamers Get Virus Antidote

New York — The growing influence the gaming community holds in the PC category can be seen today with the roll out of a version of Symantec’s Norton anti-virus software optimized for gamers.

Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus 2009 Gaming Edition, $39.99, is available today through the company’s usual retail channel. It was designed to create a safe Web environment for gamers, yet not bog down their PCs nor deluge the gamers with notifications informing them of their anti-virus status, said Deena Monchick, Symantec’s product marketing manager.

“Gamers said performance was key — they were worried the software would slow down their PC while playing a game,” she said.

Monchick said the developers went through every line of the company’s basic anti-virus software program and streamlined it so it will have zero impact on a computer’s gaming performance. The new application loads onto a PC in about 47 seconds and gives the end user an unusual amount of control over how much or how little anti-virus protection he or she wants.

This is handled in the new gamer mode, which automatically stops user notifications and updates while the computer is playing a game, yet all the protection is turned back when the gaming is completed, Monchick said.

Monchick said there definitely is a large enough installed base for the product to be successful. About 15 percent of all PC owners classify themselves as avid gamers, she added.

While it will sell through retail, the company has held discussions with game publishers about bundling opportunities, Monchick said.