New study proves Aussies love their video games

Matt Sayer 24 July 2017 NEWS

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It's official: video games are as Aussie as the humble meat pie.

Thanks to researchers at Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, we now have hard evidence to back up something we've all known for quite some time: Australians love to play video games. In a survey covering 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, the researchers found that 97% of homes with at least one child owned a video game system of some kind, while 80% of households owned two systems or more. Just as interesting was the fact that almost half of the parents surveyed played games online with their kids, both as a bonding experience and as a way of keeping an eye on what their kids are playing.

Overall, 67% of the Aussies surveyed played video games, with the average age of players increasing from 33 last year to 34 this year. Meanwhile, the time we spend playing games is much the same as we spend with other forms of entertainment like TV and literature: Aussies devote an average of 89 minutes to gaming on a daily basis.

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However, perhaps the most interesting findings in the study are those that show how social Australian gaming habits have become. According to the study, 92% of us play games with friends, family and strangers online, with just 8% preferring to always go it alone. We also like to share our gaming exploits with our fellow gamers, with one in four of us posting videos of our gameplay online.

It's heartening to see that Aussies of all stripes play games, too. The study shows that 43% of people aged 65 or older play video games. The notion that only kids play games is crushed by the revelation that 77% of all players are aged 18 or up. The tired trope of the male gamer is falling by the wayside as well, with women making up 46% of all gamers surveyed.

Studies like these might not be tremendously surprising to those of us who already play games on the regular, but it's encouraging to see how far the medium has come in the past decade or so. There's no question video games are now an integral part of Australian culture. In the words of the study's lead author, Dr Jeff Brand: "Games are no longer a subculture—everyone plays."

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