Report

Description

This report examines the role interactive entertainment plays in Australian households.

Foreword

We began national studies of computer game audiences in 2005 to widen the conversation about games and tackle stereotypes that prevented an understanding in the wider community that computer games were a popular medium that had become not only normalised, but a medium valued by Australians of all ages. Rather than challenge negative stereotypes about games with rhetoric, we provided quantitative empirical data using established social and market research practice – something that had not been available for Australia’s journalists and policy-makers who relied on overseas data. Over the five Australian studies since 2005, we documented the ascendency of computer and video games to centre stage in media culture.

Game Play Australia 2005 conveyed the reality that Australia is a nation of game-lovers who enjoy playing games on a sporting field and on the screen.

In 2005:

  • 76% of households had a device for playing games and PCs dominated consoles,
  • 38% of gamers were female and the average age was 24,
  • Less than an hour was the play duration and twice a week was the frequency
  • 49% of households had broadband connections,
  • 35% played games online,
  • 66% of parents played video games,
  • 88% said Australia should have an R18+ for games, and
  • 68% said classification information was very influential when choosing games for their children.

Interactive Australia 2007 and 2009 illustrated the growing ability of games to foster social interaction. Moreover, games consoles and the Internet had matured and grown in popularity.

By 2009:

  • 88% of households had a device for playing games and consoles took the lead from PCs,
  • 46% of gamers were female and the average age was 30,
  • An hour was the play duration and every other day was the frequency,
  • 81% of households had broadband connections,
  • 48% played games online,
  • 70% of parents played games,
  • 60% of households were home to 2 or more players,
  • 91% said Australia should have an R18+ for games, and
  • 46% said classification information was very influential when choosing games for their children.

Digital Australia 2012 illustrated the rapid maturation of digital media and more avenues for game experiences to anyone who wanted to play.

By 2012:

  • 92% of households had a device for playing games and consoles lead and phones outflanked handhelds,
  • 47% of gamers were female and the average age was 32,
  • An hour was the play duration and every other day was the frequency,
  • 83% of parents played games,
  • 70% of households were home to 2 or more players, and
  • 41% said classification information was very influential when choosing games for their children.

Digital Australia 2014 completes this phase of reports on computer games and Australians. The profile of the gamer and the gaming household is nearly synonymous with the profile of the typical Australian and Australian household. It demonstrates that multiple screens and game devices are commonplace and that games have expanded from the loungeroom to the pocket, played frequently and for longer durations. It suggests that the moral panic over established media like music, films, television and games is now moving to social media and the Internet. Adult gamers have formed great memories over the years of family time, characters, story, play and interaction from a medium that has emerged from its adolescence.

 

Authored by Jeffrey E. Brand, Pascaline Lorentz, and Trishita Mathew.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2013
376
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