Digital Australia 2011 report: gamers are getting older

Digital Australia 2011 report: gamers are getting older

The average Australian gamer is now 32 years old and almost half of gamers are female, according to the latest university report.

The 4th annual Digital Australia report has just been released, and it has unearthed some interesting findings about Australia's gaming habits.

The report, conducted by Bond University, Queensland for the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, provides data on video and computer game use and attitudes via a random survey of "over 1200" Australian households.

“The average Australian gamer is 32 years old [up from 30 in 2008] and we’ve moved well away from the traditional teenage boy stereotype of a gamer," said Dr Jeff Brand, Associate Professor at Bond University. According to the report, nine out of ten Australian households own a device for playing games, and 47 per cent of gamers are female.

The report also found that over 75% of gamers are aged 18 or over - an interesting statistic, given the long-running R18+ video game rating debate.

Not surprisingly, the rise of the smartphone and mobile gaming apps has given rise to a broad cross-section of active gamers.

"Australian gamers [include] parents and grandparents ‘snacking’ on games when they’re commuting to work on the bus or train, or while they’re filling in that little bit of time between meetings," Brand claims.

According to the report, four in five parents are gaming with their children and around 40 per cent of people aged over 50 play video games.

While 92% of Australian households have a device for playing computer games, only 62% use a PC for playing games, claims the report. Surprisingly, 13 per cent of gaming households use a tablet computer to play games on and around a quarter of console gamers still use traditional CRTVs.

The report also reveals a shift in buying habits. While the majority of Australians buy games from traditional brick-and-mortar retailer (43%), 22% buy games new from download stores (such as PlayStation Network or Xbox Live) and 14% buy games via online retail.

Below are some other key statistics found in the report.

General gaming habits:

• Game consoles are in 63% of game households. Dedicated handheld consoles in 13%.

• Mobile phones are used to play games in 43% of game households.

• Flat-panel LCD, LED and Plasma TVs are in 85% of game homes and 70% of non-game homes. 

• 75% of gamers in Australia are aged 18 years or older.

• The average adult gamer has been playing video games for 12 years.

• Nearly 1 in 5 gamers play social network games and 1 in 10 massively multiplayer (MMO) games.

• PC and console gamers play mainly for fun and relaxation; mobile gamers play mainly to pass the time.

• Playing habits are moderate with only 3% of gamers playing for five or more hours in one sitting.

• 57% of all gamers play either daily or every other day.

Parents and Games

• 83% of parents of children aged 18 and under living with them play computer games – up from 70% in 2008.

• Of parents who play games, 88% play with their children, up from 80% in 2008.

• 90% of parents who play computer games themselves use them to help educate their children, up from 75%in 2008.

• 79% of parents say an adult makes the purchase when games are purchased for their children.

• 56% of parents who play games, compared with 35% of parents who do not play, say they are aware of parental controls available in game systems.

Game-related Spending

• The average total physical or online store spend on all media “in the past week” was $29. Games account for 28% of the total non-subscription media spend.

• Family games accounted for 19% of all unit game sales in 2010 followed by Action (18%), First-Person Shooters (15%) and Sports and Racing games (9% each) according to The NPD Group Australia point of sale data.

• The Australian computer games industry hardware and boxed software sales totalled $1.7 billion in 2010 according to The NPD Group Australia.

You can download a full copy of the report by visiting the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association website.

Related articles: 

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Gaming through the ages: 25 landmark consoles

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The Top 10 Game Machines of All Time

The 20 most memorable video game worlds

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