New Zealanders play games to level up


A new report from IGEA shows that video games bring joy to Kiwis’ lives, nurture mental health, and create connections with family.

Wellington, 1 September 2023 – Game on, Kiwis! According to the New Zealand Plays report released today by IGEA in conjunction with Bond University, 79% of all New Zealanders play video games, a 6% increase from the previous report. New Zealand Plays (formerly known as Digital New Zealand) is the 7th report in the series spanning 14 years and explores the demographics and behaviours of New Zealand video game players and their attitudes towards games.


“New Zealanders have always loved video games, but this year we can see that this popular medium is growing faster than ever before across a wider demographic. Not only is the average video game player in New Zealand 35 years old, but Kiwi women over 45 years of age are more likely to play video games than men!” said Dr. Jeffrey Brand, Professor at Bond University and author of the report.


“The report reflects that gamers are everyone – highly educated professionals, students, your grandparents or auntie. Video games provide something for everyone.”


“This long running series of research delivered by Dr Brand and Bond University, again highlights the importance of games to the lives of every day New Zealanders.  79% of Kiwis play video games, and they play for fun and joy. Playing games will continue to grow as a popular past time across all age groups, whilever people are looking to create joy in their lives,” said Ron Curry, IGEA CEO.


New Zealand Plays found that the average Kiwi gamer is 35 years old, has played video games for at least 11 years, and spends 97 minutes per day (on average) playing games.


Highlights from the New Zealand Plays report:

  • 79% of all New Zealanders play video games (up from 73%)
  • 94% of New Zealander households have a device for playing video games (up from 92%)
    • 81% of game households have 2 or more devices for playing games
  • The average age of the New Zealand gamer is 35
  • 48% of New Zealanders who play video games are female
    • After the age of 45, women play more video games than men
  • The average New Zealander who plays video games has been playing for 11 years
  • New Zealanders over 65 years play to be challenged and improve mental health
  • New Zealander adults of all ages play to:
    • 91% – create feelings of enjoyment
    • 79% – bring joy to their lives
    • 60% – Nurture mental health
  • Naturally, fun is the main reason all New Zealanders play, regardless of age. For adults who play video games, having fun means:
    • 93% – achieving
    • 80% – exploring
    • 79% – competing
  • Of adults who play video games:
    • 71% – enjoy building in them
    • 68% – enjoy getting lost in a story
    • 62% – enjoy making mini-games and levels
    • 49% – enjoy attending in-game events
  • 93% of New Zealander parents who play video games do so to connect as a family
  • Adults think games can:
    • 93% – inspire students to be creative
    • 93% – help students manage stress
    • 89% – improve thinking skills for players of all ages
    • 88% – help students learn science and reading
  • New Zealander video game players’ top genre choices:
    • 37% – puzzle
    • 32% – action/adventure
    • 22% – board/card


If you would like to learn more about New Zealand Plays 2023, you can download the media kit, visit the IGEA website, or pick up the infographic (PDF or PNG), report, and key findings documents separately.


Australia Plays was also recently released and reflects similar results to New Zealand Plays.

Media spokespeople available:

  • Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA
  • Dr Jeffrey Brand, Professor at Bond University


Felicia McEntire
0455 143 650

Paul Jones
0411 348 155


About IGEA

IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) is the peak industry association representing the voice of Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video games industry.  IGEA supports the games industry’s business and public policy interests through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit

About New Zealand Plays

New Zealand Plays is a study of 809 New Zealander households represented by adult participants aged 18 and over. Household-level statistics include demographics, household device profiles, attitudes, and knowledge questions. Parents represent 287 of the 809 household adult respondents. Data on play time (including frequency and duration, location, time of day, genre preferences, and common playing experiences) were drawn from adult participants and one other nominated household member (n=1,328). Age, gender and player status were drawn from the participants and all members of the household (n=1,923). Participants were drawn randomly from the Qualtrics XM panel in April 2023; research was designed and conducted at Bond University. The margin of error is 2.7%.

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