The latest Digital New Zealand 2018 study, conducted by Dr Jeff Brand from Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA), indicates that 67% of Kiwis play video games, with close to half that number females; 44% of over 65s play video games and average age of the New Zealand gamer is 34.
The study canvassed 807 New Zealand households and 2288 individuals and Dr Brand, lead author of the report and Professor of Communication and Media at Bond University, said mainstream acceptance of video games and an increase in devices has translated to a ‘broad church’ of players.
“Interactive games have become a huge part of our culture and while the key reasons remain playing for fun and to pass time, games increasingly serve other uses. New Zealanders are playing for social connectedness, whether that be with family or friends. They’re playing to reduce stress, to be challenged, to learn, to keep the mind active, or for physical and mental health benefits.”
Many long time readers will know that I’m no longer classed as an average gamer (I’m a fair bit older than 34, I’m sad to say) but it’s pleasing to see that the over 65s make up the largest and fastest growing segment of people new to video games: 44% of those aged 65 and over play video games. I might not still be writing about video games when I’m over 65 but I still hope I’ve got the ability to play!
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said that the sale of digital games in New Zealand grew by a 20 per cent compound annual growth rate in the last three years.
“Digital New Zealand 2018 shows how the state of game play in New Zealand has progressed. Everyone plays, and they consume games just like any other media with 85 minutes the average daily total of all game play. More than that, Kiwis recognise the value of games, beyond entertainment, in the family home, schools, workplaces, health care settings and socially.”
Other findings from Digital New Zealand 2018 included New Zealanders value play for better health and positive ageing, whether that be to improve thinking skills (85%), improve dexterity (76%) or manage pain (52%). Almost ninety per cent say they play to increase mental stimulation, 76 per cent state video games help fight dementia, and 46 per cent agreed playing games can help increase mobility and Half of parents play video games together with their children in the same room. One in four play video games together with their children online, and most parents (86%) have talked with a child about playing safely online.
You can find more about the report and IGEA here.