New research looking into the gaming habits of New Zealanders found that nine out of ten households in the country own a game playing device of some sort and nearly four in five parents with children ages 18 and under play games. In households that use video games, 38 percent said they used a mobile phone and 9 percent said they used a tablet device to play games. Around 51 percent of gaming households said that they owned a traditional game console.
The report, Digital New Zealand 2012, is based on a survey conducted by Bond University using a random sample of over 800 New Zealand households.
The report also revealed that 47 percent of the gaming population is female, the average adult gamers has been playing for 12 years, 58 percent of gamers said they play daily or every other day, 92 percent of parents who play computer games use them to help educate their children, one in four said they would sign up for faster broadband if it were tied to games and game download services, and action games are the most popular among those surveyed. Finally, 37 percent of gamers buy games from a local retailer while 24 percent buy games new online from a digital distribution service, and 14 percent buy games from an online store.
Dr. Jeff Brand, Associate Professor at Bond University and the author of the report, says the biggest difference between the 2012 and 2011 reports is the explosion in mobile gaming.
"Over the last year, we’ve seen a growing pattern of 'snack gaming' with more Kiwis using their smartphones and tablet computers to play video games," he said. "When people are traveling to work or trying to fill in that little bit of time between appointments they’re turning on their mobile devices to ‘snack’ on a video game."
"Research shows video games are no longer the domain of teenage boys as the average Kiwi gamer is 33 years old and one in five gamers playing social network games. Game playing habits are also moderate with the majority of people playing for up to an hour at a time daily or every other day," said Brand.
"Kiwi gamers are growing up and they’re parents and even grandparents," added Mark Goodacre, Director of Interactive Games & Entertainment Australia (iGEA). "Research shows that 41 percent of people aged over 50 now play video games and a quarter of gamers have been playing for more than two decades. Video games are definitely on for young and old!”
The NZ games industry is forecast to reach $192 million by 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report, New Zealand Entertainment & Media Outlook, 2011 – 2015.