Women & Over 60’s Drive Demand for Video and Computer Games


79 per cent of Australian households now play interactive games
Sydney, Australia – 31 January 2006 – A research report released today showed women and older Australians are the fastest growing audiences for computer and video games.

Interactive Australia 2007, launched today by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) in conjunction with Bond University’s Centre for New Media Research, is a national study of 1,606 households and who plays games in Australia.

It revealed more than 79 per cent of Australian households have a device for playing computer and video games– a three per cent increase from late 20051. Significantly the research revealed the changing face of computer and video gaming with more women, families and older people choosing interactive games for entertainment and education. It also showed Australian parents highly value computer and video games as educational, as well as fun.

“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.

The average age of Australian gamers is now 28 years (up from 24 years) and the research predicts that by 2014 the average age of gamers will be the same as non-gamers at 42 years.

“More than 12.5 million games were sold in Australia last year,” said Hanlon. “Gaming is increasingly the first choice of entertainment for a broad range of people.”

Key research findings include:

  • Interactive games are attracting new players – 41 per cent of gamers are female (up from 38 per cent) and eight per cent are seniors (over 60 years old).
  • Gaming is an increasingly social activity. Two third of gamers report that others in their household play games, 56 per cent play with others in the same room, and only 19 per cent prefer to play alone.
  • Parents and children increasingly play together – 35 per cent of gamers are parents and 77 per cent 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 per cent vs 54 per cent across all households).
  • 95 per cent of Australians use a personal computer for games.

Educational choice for parents
The research reported that parents see the positive aspects of game play as more than valued family entertainment. Parents reported computer games teach children about technology (73 per cent), maths (68 per cent) and to plan ahead (64 per cent).

“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,” said Hanlon.

A positive and social entertainment choice
The research revealed gaming competes with other media such as TV, film and music rather than non-media and outdoor leisure activities. It also found more than half of Australians find computer games more social than other forms of media entertainment and the majority (61 per cent) only play 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,” said 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,” he said.

View the Full Report Here

1 GamePlay Australia 2005, IEAA and Bond University

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