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The statistics don’t lie, Australians are a gaming force

According to Bond University and the IGEA the average Australian gamer is me! Let me explain…

Yesterday saw the release of the IGEA Digital Australia Report for 2018. The study (which has been running for the last several years or so) examined 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, revealing 8 in 10 people believe that playing games can improve their thinking skills and dexterity, while 59% say video games can help manage their pain.The study found that the modern face of gaming is is now vastly different to what most people would think with the average player age of gamers having increased to 34. A staggering 43% of Australians aged 65 and over are also playing video games, continuing to make up the largest group of new players over the past six years. And possibly my favourite statistic (yet least surprising) is that females are accounting for 46% of all players.

Whilst the Digital Australia 2018 report holds a lot of interesting facts that I recommend you check out should you have the time, it’s the key facts we are going to look into here.

Australia is known to be lagging (in every sense of the word) behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet speeds. Our high speed NBN (National Broardband Network) is a laughing stock when compared with that of other first world countries. So I’m hardly surprised to see that 1 in 3 gaming households are effected by poor broadband service. Frankly with the majority of games having an online component these days leading to so many of us online, I’m shocked these numbers are as low as they are.

When it comes to gaming households it seems we Aussies have our bases covered with 80% of gaming households having more than 1 gaming device. I know in my home it’s become like a museum to all things gaming both new and retro, so unless I’m the exception and not the rule here this is again hardly a surprising statistic. What is a bit of surprising news on the gaming household front is that virtual reality has taken its slice with 16% of gaming households having a virtual reality headset. This is great news for VR and I’ll be watching with both eyes firmly fixed to see which direction these stats go in the coming years.

Whilst there are still many more exciting statistics to talk about from the report I want to move onto my favourite which is that women now make up 46% of the gaming payer market! With an average play time of 77 Minutes per day for women (just under that of men which stands at 98 minutes of average daily play) it’s clear we’re taking things seriously.

In what is known as a predominantly male dominated arena, this is an incredible margin as it puts women at almost 50% of the target audience. For some time women have been shouting to deaf ears that we are here and are a gaming force to be reckoned with. Sadly however, it seemed that no amount of reciting the Konami code could convince anyone that we were more than just a bunch of casual Sunday gamers. There was significant growth in the amount of female gamers occurring between the first study in 2005 and third study in 2009 when it reached 46%, since then little has changed. Interestingly enough, women make up 54% of the population of gamers in the 35 – 44 age bracket.

So it’s never been more important for developers to recognise women as an integral part of the gaming market. The call for better representation of women in games and the gaming sector must be forefront as we move forward. Thankfully the timing of these findings couldn’t be better, with an exhibition opening today (25/07/17) at ACMI here in Melbourne called Code Breakers that celebrates the achievements of Australian and New Zealand women in the video game industry.

With the video game industry not looking to slow down anytime soon, it will be interesting to see what the statistics reveal next year.