Released today, the Digital Australia Report has showcased how our nation consumes games.
The new research by Bond University and the IGEA has found video and computer games are firmly entrenched in mainstream entertainment with 97% of Australian households with children, stating they have video game devices – eight out of ten own multiple game devices.
Digital Australia 2018 (DA18) studied 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, revealing it’s not only kids that appreciate game time. Almost half of parents play games online with their kids, with reasons for playing together including family enjoyment, education, and as a way to monitor what children play.
The study revealed that 67% of people surveyed play video games. Older Australians continue to make up the largest group of new players over the past six years with 43 per cent of people aged 65 and over playing video games.
Of the respondents, those who identified as female, account for 46% of all players.
Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and lead author of the report, said that the average age of players has increased by a year to 34 and that motives for playing are shifting.
Dr Brand said, “The fun continues through interactive games, but the research shows that games increasingly serve other uses. Australians are playing for social connectedness, whether that be with family or friends. They’re playing to reduce stress, to be challenged, to learn, to keep the mind active, or for physical and mental health benefits.”
“Everyone finds their own reason for playing. Our research shows that motives for playing video games differ by life stages. Young adults play to help pass time, have fun, and de-stress, whereas older Australians, while also playing for enjoyment and to pass time, report keeping the mind active as a top reason for playing.”
The Digital Australia study, which has been running since 2005, also highlights just how social game play has become. This year’s report found only eight per cent of Australians play alone, with the remaining 92% playing with friends, partners, family and strangers online at least once in a while.
Most players share their enjoyment of games with others in the community through various methods. Seven in ten Australian players have watched videos and used walk-throughs to help their gameplay and more than a quarter have posted their own videos of gameplay. Australians also enjoy watching other people play games, particularly at a competitive level with a third watching e-sports.
Dr Brand added, “Games are no longer a subculture – everyone plays. We’ve moved far beyond the classic clichés that dogged video games in their early years.”
“Interactive games are woven into the fabric of our culture – a culture more nuanced and capable of enjoying the benefits of the digital economy than ever before.”
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said, “Digital Australia 2018 shows how the state of game play in Australia has progressed. Games are one of the many things shaking up traditional viewing culture, and Australians are consuming games in more ways than ever before.”
“We’re also playing with purpose, with more and more Australians recognising the value of games, beyond entertainment, in the family home, schools, workplaces and socially.”
Other key findings of the Digital Australia Report 2018 include:
The average Australian consume games just like other media – 89 minutes is the average daily total of all game play.
- Gaming for health – Australians value play for better health and positive ageing, whether that be to improve thinking skills (84%), improve dexterity (78%) or manage pain (59%). Ninety per cent say they play to increase mental stimulation, 80 per cent state video games help fight dementia, and 54 per cent agreed playing games can help increase mobility.
- Gaming for education – Games are increasingly finding their way into education, learning and training settings. A third of Australians have used games at work, and one in two parents reported their children have used games at school. Parents are also speaking with their children about playing online safely (84%).
DA18 will be presented in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra from tomorrow through Thursday.