A new report has identified several interesting statistics concerning video game players in Australia, including information highlighting that women and seniors are the fastest growing audience for video games within the region.
The report, which was issued by the IEAA (Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia) game industry association, was based on data compiled by the Bond University Centre for New Media Research from surveys of about 1,606 households and 3,386 individuals. Of those individuals surveyed, 41 percent of the respondents were female (up from 38 percent), while 8 percent were seniors over 60 years old. The oldest gamer surveyed was 84 years old.
While the average Australian gamer's age was found to be 28 years old (up from 24), based on the data gathered, the report hypothesizes that by 2014 that average will have jumped to 42 years old, the same as today's average age for non-gamers according to the study.
"Interactive games are seen as a fun, positive entertainment choice for the majority of Australians. The research confirms that gaming is increasingly popular across all ages." said Chris Hanlon, IEAA CEO.
In addition, according to the report, computers or video game consoles were found in 79 percent of those Australian households that participated in the survey. Of this subset of homes, computers were found in an overwhelming 95 percent, while 59 percent contained at least one game console. Also interesting, 65 percent of these households with games included more than one person who played video games.
The research also reported that parents have begun to see computer and video games as a positive force for children, with 73 percent of those parents surveyed noting a belief that such games teach children about technology. 68 percent commented that games help children with their math skills, while 64 percent cited a belief that games help kids plan ahead.
"Parents are increasingly playing computer and video games themselves and with their children. They value the skills kids learn through interactive games, and can see the benefits both socially and educationally," commented Hanlon.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Gaming is an increasingly social activity. Two third of gamers report that others in their household play games, 56 percent play with others in the same room, and only 19 percent prefer to play alone.
- Parents and children increasingly play together - 35 percent of gamers are parents and 77 percent of parents play computer games with their children.
- Online gaming is increasingly popular and ranks 10th among activities Australian's often use the internet for - ahead of music downloads and online shopping. Households with an internet connection were more likely to play computer games (84 percent vs 54 percent across all households).
The research also found that more than half of Australians find video games to be a better social activity than other forms of media entertainment, such as TV, film and music. However, despite this, the report also surprisingly found that 61 percent of those gamers surveyed noted that they only play games for up to an hour at one time.
"Gaming is seen as a social activity with people playing together in the same room or online. We found players see interactivity as a key attraction to gaming as an entertainment choice," stated Hanlon. "Australians who play computer and video games are a lot like those who don't - they enjoy a range of leisure activities as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle."