Games are present in almost all Australian family households


Games are present in almost all Australian family households

Digital Australia Report 2016 finds games continue to be a part of Australian family life


SYDNEY, Australia – 28 July 2015 – According to the Digital Australia Report 2016 launched today, video games are consistently present in Australian family homes with 98 per cent of homes with children under the age of 18 have a device for playing video games. This proportion has been stable for the past three studies over five years.

Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and lead author of the report, said: “While the presence of video and computer games in Australian family homes remains stable, we’ve observed growth in the proportion of the population who plays, including parents who play with their children, which has increased from 86 per cent in 2013 to 90 per cent in 2015”.

“What this means is that parents are increasingly involved in their children’s game play activities in different ways and for different reasons: 40 per cent of parents say it’s a way to spend time with their children and 36 per cent consider games as a fun activity for the entire family. Most say they play in the same room, but many are playing online with their children.” says Brand.

An emerging trend identified by this year’s report is around watching video games as a form of entertainment. Just like people watch movies, TV shows and documentaries, they are now watching other people play video games. This trend is not limited to eSports as nowadays, games enthusiasts, including children, are interested to watch and learn from other “professional” players: 50 per cent of players watch video games being played, and 33 per cent created videos to share gameplay knowledge with others.

Older Australians continue to make up the largest group of new players over the past four years. Australians aged 50 and over now make up 23 per cent of the game playing population. The average age of Australian video game player has increased from 32 to 33 years old since 2013. The report also finds that 24 per cent of Australian adults have used games at work for training purposes and over a third (35 per cent) of parents say games are part of their children’s school curriculum.

“The use of games-based technology is increasingly finding its way into physical and mental health applications. I continue to marvel at the growth of video games and their potential to serve as a positive social, political and economic force,” says Brand.

Other key findings of the Digital Australia Report 2016 include:

  • Two thirds of Australians play video games – 68 per cent of Australians play video games
  • Games are not only enjoyed by kids and teenagers – 78 per cent of the game playing population is aged 18 years or older
  • It’s not a boy thing – Nearly half (47 per cent) of the game population is female
  • It’s a normal part of media use – the daily average time spent playing video games is 88 minutes
  • Classification helps the games buying decision – 41 per cent say classification has a lot of influence on games purchased for children, but only 12 per cent of adults say it influences their own choices
  • Games can be beneficial for healthy ageing – 89 per cent say playing games improve thinking skills, 76 per cent agree video games increase mental stimulation, 79 per cent find video games help improve coordination and dexterity and 61 per cent state video games help fight dementia.

Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA), said, This year’s report reinforces the breadth and depth of Australia’s gaming community. We are witnessing significant changes in the realm of digital interactive entertainment where games have become an amazing medium to reinvigorate family life, education, workplace training, consumer engagement and social and political conversation,”

“Whether we’re ‘snacking’ on a mobile game or enjoying an immersive gaming experience, it’s clear that video games are on the way to becoming more mainstream than playing sports or watching TV,” said Curry.


About IGEA
IGEA is an independent industry association representing Australia and New Zealand companies in the computer and video game industry. Its members publish, market and distribute interactive games and entertainment content. IGEA is administered by a Board of Directors compromising senior executives from interactive games and entertainment companies and supported by the CEO, Ron Curry.


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