One of the most interesting ways of determining the popularity of something is to see how many people are looking for information on it via Google. So let's see what the search engine has to tell us about what people were looking for in 2012.
Google has released its "Zeitgeist" report for 2012, showing the ten most-searched items worldwide across a variety of categories. While there isn't one just for video games, games do feature across some of the biggest fields.
In Consumer Electronics, for example, a field dominated by phones and tablets, a gaming console made the grade in sixth place: the term "Play Station". Imagine how many results they'd have got if they'd spelled it correctly!
In Images, which as you'd expect is full of people searching for pictures of sexy celebrities, in eighth place is Minecraft.
And finally, in the biggest category of all, Searches, ahead of the Olympics was "Diablo 3" in fifth place. Again, imagine if they'd actually used its real name, "Diablo III"!
These results are worldwide; to see things broken down individually, and to see some lists of the most-searched video games, you can filter by country at the link below. For example, the most-searched games in the US for 2012 were:
Mass Effect 3
Black Ops 2
Madden NFL 13
Resident Evil 6
WrestleMania XXVIII [Note: huh?]
Zeitgeist 2012 [Google]