Serious as, bro: NZ study reveals games’ benefits
Wellington, New Zealand – 14 August 2017 – Kiwis have embraced the opportunities video and computer games present in health, aged care, school, learning and work settings, according to new research by Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA).
Digital New Zealand 2018 studied 807 New Zealand households and 2,288 individuals of all ages in those households, with more than half (59%) of parents reporting their children have used video games for school curriculum, compared to 38 per cent in 2016.
Dr Jeff Brand, lead author of the report and Bond University Professor, said the number of older New Zealanders playing video games is also on the up, and for good reason.
“There are certain stereotypes that society has created about video games – and our research breaks every one of them,” said Dr Brand. “Over 65s continue to make up the largest group of players new to games, and they’re playing to achieve specific health and ageing outcomes. We have also seen a significant uptake of games in schools and the workplace. Games play a fundamental role in how we connect, stay healthy, and learn.”
New Zealanders are looking to games for positive ageing. Almost 90 per cent of adults surveyed say they believe video games can increase mental stimulation, 76 per cent state video games help fight dementia, and half of respondents agreed playing games can help increase mobility. Kiwis also value play for better general health, stating playing games can improve thinking skills (85%), improve dexterity (76%) and manage pain (52%).
Kiwis are increasingly utilising games in the workplace. A third of New Zealanders have used games to improve work knowledge, and one in four have learnt health and safety rules with the help of games designed for this purpose.
Games also make a significant contribution to the economy. Digital game sales grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent over the last three years. Three-quarters of Kiwis agreed making games locally benefits the New Zealand economy.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said: “This research gives us the data to support the anecdotes that we hear every day. The medium has been accepted and normalised. Moreover, because they’re so engaging and enjoyable, we’re seeing games move to serve uses beyond entertainment in education, health and business training. That’s where the medium gets really exciting.”
Other key findings from Digital New Zealand 2018 include:
- Kiwis consume games just like other entertainment media – Ninety-eight per cent of homes with children have computer games, eight out of 10 own multiple devices. 85 minutes is the average daily total of all game play.
- The modern face of gaming – Two-thirds of all Kiwis play video games; 47% of players are female; 73% of players are aged 18 years or older; the average player age is 34.
- Call for diversity – 62% of adult players say games need more age diversity in characters.
To download the full #DNZ18 report, click here
To download the key findings and summary, click here
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About Digital New Zealand 2018
Digital New Zealand 2018 is the fifth study in a series of national research that began in 2009. The report, which is based on national random sample, looks at the demographics of Kiwis who play games, play habits, behaviours and attitudes.
IGEA is an industry association representing the business and public policy interests of New Zealand and Australian companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA’s members publish, develop, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content and related hardware including mobile and handheld games. For more information, please visit www.igea.net.
Media spokespeople available
- Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA
- Dr Jeff Brand, Professor, Bond University, and lead author of the report
- Case studies and subject matter experts
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