The age-old debate on ‘who plays the most games?’ continues to ravage today’s climate. However, a recent national survey proves Australia could be quite close to equality within the gamer population, with some exciting statistics.
The Digital Australia Report 2018, from Bond University and IGEA, states that 67% of Australians playing video games are 54% male and 46% female. This data is incredible from an equality and image point of view, seeing a massive increase from 2005 to now. Not too long ago, gaming was seen a geeky, brain-numbing hobby for young boys or low-life adults. Arguably, the negative perception remains in the minds of many, particularly concerned parents and the minority 33% who don’t play games.
Despite this, the nearly balanced demographic proves a positive change for the industry and the world. Games are now for everyone, not simply just males. We are seeing more high-art projects, creative endeavours, and innovation in development. Not only fans past and present, but future gamers are ecstatic about the quality of stories, gameplay, and experiences within the sphere.
Additionally, we are also seeing criticism and aversion of objectification and sexism in video games, an unfortunate part of the culture in the past. A participant remarks, ‘It’s become a culture… we now have immense sociocultural influences arising from more in-depth video games‘ highlighting the potential for global influence in game design.
The report adds the majority of gamers between 45 and 54 are female. Mature gaming is a rampant pass-time, many growing up with games continuing the hobby while older folk are quickly learning the benefits. The stat is impressive as many who began the hobby in the 80s or 90s would be part of the male-dominated market. To see how equal the market is across both ages and sex is a testament for the inclusivity of the community and a step forward for society.
Some quotes featured throughout the report provide an anecdotal view of the state of equality in games. One person said ‘I feel games have helped with my social connections IRL (In Real Life), and my ability to solve problems and work cooperatively with other people‘. Another comments, ‘Online role-playing group games help me to connect with people when I feel lonely‘. The inclusivity within the space is vastly improving and it couldn’t be a better time for anyone to pick up a controller.
Looking at last year’s results and comparing the pair proves a consistent push for a happier and unified community. In only a short amount of time, many groups like WomANZ bring and encourage community-bonding and parity. Developers, social influencers, and other women in Australia are highlighting the industry’s new boundaries to be recognised throughout the world.
Each step we take towards uniting our nation, no matter if it’s a small demographic like Australian gamers, is a hopeful and positive one. We see too much abuse, violence, and hate throughout the wider globe. Whether this is media agenda or simply what interests people, the gross negativity only dampens our views and optimism. I only hope simple progress like this brings a little light to each of our days. Remember to love yourself and each other, as we are all on the same random rock in the middle of nowhere trying to get by.