Once the exclusive pursuit of the under-25 age bracket, playing video games is now a pastime enjoyed by Australians of all ages, according to the University’s ‘Digital Australia 2014′ report.
Author of the report Professor Jeff Brand says that whereas video games were once a medium mainly used by children and teens, today “the profile of the typical gamer is nearly synonymous with the profile of the typical Australian.”
Nine in 10 households own at least one interactive gaming device, and gaming is now very much a family activity with 86% of parents who consume video games playing with their children.
More older Australians are also playing interactive games on their smartphones, tablets and laptops, which is shifting the demographic of Australia’s gaming population.
40 to 60 year olds represent the largest group of new gamers in the last two years, with those aged over 50 now accounting for a fifth of the gaming population.
CEO of Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Ron Curry says the report reinforces the breadth of the gaming community.
“The first generation of Australian gamers are all grown up and playing video games not only for their own leisure, but as a way to connect with their children and their own parents,” Curry says.
“Whether we’re ‘snacking’ on a mobile game or enjoying the immersive experience of playing on a console, it’s clear that playing video games has truly become as mainstream as playing sports or watching TV.”
Key findings of the ‘Digital Australia 2014′ report include:
- 76% of gamers are over 18: Adults continue to form the vast majority of gamers in Australia, with the average gamer now aged 32 years old. This aligns closely with the average age of the Australian community which, according to recent ABS census data, is 37 years old.
- Older Australians don’t play for fun: Australians aged 51 and over say they play games to keep their minds active and learn, whereas gamers aged 16 to 25 play for thrills and to relieve boredom.
- Digital games on the rise: The number of Australians playing games on a tablet device doubled to 26% in the last two years. Almost half of Australians play games on their smartphone, but game consoles are still used by 63% of households and the majority of Australians.
- Parents like to play: 81% of mums and 83% of dads play video games.
The ‘Digital Australia 2014′ report is the fifth study in a series looking at Australia’s interactive games usage and broader attitudes towards interactive entertainment.
Ed’s note: The above was originally featured on Marketingmag.com.au.