Research: Majority of AU and NZ Parents See Games as Learning Tools

Parents in New Zealand and Australia are embracing the idea that video games can serve as great tools to engage and educate children, according to new research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).

The studies conducted by Bond University (as detailed in the Digital New Zealand 2012 and Digital Australia reports) found that 79 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 play video games, and that 90 percent of this group play those games with their children. The data shows an increase over the 2010 numbers of 63 percent and 59 percent, respectively.

The research also showed that 92 percent of parents surveyed believe that video games are educational, with three-in-four of respondents saying that they actively use games as an educational tool with their children (in Australia 9 in 10 of these parents say games are educational and three in four parents actively use games as an educational tool with their children). This shows an increase from the 2010 study which found 64 percent of parents use video games as an educational tool in New Zealand. The research also indicated that parents believe some video games may help their children better understand important subjects such as technology, math, science, planning, language, work, life, and society in general.

Mark Goodacre, Director of the iGEA, says that video games are also increasingly seen as great tools for teaching by school teachers and university lecturers too.

Other data gleaned from the study: 86 percent of parents in New Zealand are present when buying video games for their children most of the time or all of the time (79 percent in Australia); 58 percent of New Zealand gamers play video games daily or every day (57 percent in Australia); 69 percent of New Zealand gamers play up to an hour at one time (59 percent in Australia) and only 3 percent play for five hours or more in one sitting (the same percentage in Australia); and the average New Zealand gamer is 33 years old (the average is 32 years-old in Australia).

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