The Shifting Demographics of Australian Gamers

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association has released a new report this morning that provides some interesting demographics on just who is playing video games in Australia. The Digital Australia 2012 report found that nine out of ten Australian households own some sort of device for playing games, and nearly one in five gamers play social network games. In households that play computer or video games, 43 percent said that they use a mobile phone and 13 percent use a tablet computer device to play games. Another 13 percent play video games on a handheld device.

Dr. Jeff Brand, Associate Professor at Bond University and author of the report, noted that the growing use of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers to play games has created a pattern of "snack gaming" in Australia. No, he's not talking about video games causing gamers to eat more:

"The average Australian gamer is 32 years old and we’ve moved well away from the traditional teenage boy stereotype of a gamer," he said. "Australian gamers are parents and grandparents ‘snacking’ on games when they’re commuting to work on the bus or train, or while they’re filling in that little bit of time between meetings."

"Research shows people who play video games on a mobile or tablet computer are trying to pass time and the majority play games between 30 minutes to an hour at a time every other day, instead of playing long periods of time every day," Brand added.

The research also found that 43 percent of Australians buy games traditionally from a local retailer while 22 percent buy games new from a download store (such as PlayStation Network or Xbox Live) and 14 percent buy games from an online store. Around 47 percent of gamers are females – a steady increase since 2005, the average adult gamer has been playing games an average of 12 years, 75 percent of gamers are 18 years or older, 44 percent of households that play computer and video games also own a portable music device compared to only 3 percent of households that don't.

But the most interesting tidbit to come out of the study is how many older gamers there are in Australia.

"Four in five parents are playing video games with their children and most believe it’s a great way to educate and spend time with their children," says Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Australia. "Australian gamers are growing up and 43 percent of people aged over 50 now play video games."

Image provided by Shutterstock © Goodluz 2011. All rights reserved.

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