After all the outrage over the supposed damage caused by playing games, a new report has completely quashed that, and proven gaming is actually good for Australia. Figures just got released on Aussie gamers, and oh boy are they sweet fire.
But first! Some nerd talk. For the past 15 years, the IGEA (Interactive Games Entertainment Association) has worked with Bond University to collect data on Aussie gamers. The IGEA are an industry group who fight for the local games industry, and this data is their beat – and this year it’s super interesting.
Now what’s so interesting about these numbers, I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you, that now you can truly tell your friends/parentals that gaming is for everyone.
This year’s Digital Australia report, shows that two out of three Aussies surveyed play games. That’s huge. And the age breakdown of those gamers is even more intriguing.
Huh, would you look at that. The most popular age groups for gaming are younger audiences, but once people become retired, and have more time for it (within the 65–74 age group), they have some luxury time for video games.
I don’t blame them, if I was retired I’d totally be playing more games. I have a feeling my hips are gonna give out from all the sitting I do.
But also, for Aussies in-between those young and old age brackets, gaming is also very popular. Professor Jeff Brand, who presented the IGEA figures, said that this was likely due to parents not just playing games like “Words With Friends”, but also playing games like Minecraft with their kids.
Thankfully, figures on why certain age groups play games was also presented.
“If it’s not fun, why bother?” is one of former Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aimé’s best-known quotes about video games, which is totally represented in these numbers. But why do you play games? Is the reason even on this list?
What interests me is that in this breakdown being social isn’t even mentioned, despite 66% of gamers saying that playing games helps with their social wellbeing.
I guess we’ve all got priorities. Mine: pushing that goddamn payload.
Now, here’s another set of statistics that will shut down every toxic troll you come across online:
It turns out gamers want more diversity, across a lot of counts. What a proud gamer moment.
This is where games like Fallout and Overwatch really shine – the power to choose who you want to be in games is immense, and with these stats, the importance of being able to project identities into video games has been realised in the numbers.
Hopefully this desire will lead to less boring protagonists in games. Frankly, I’m sick of the boring straight cis males.
This of course leads us to representation of sex in the numbers of gamers playing games:
So, again, males still outnumber females in the numbers. In fact, female gamers have slightly decreased since last year. (Respondents were given the option to respond with a gender diverse answer, but all responded within the binary.)
But now – one of the most interesting figures of them all – how parents’ concern of video games stacks up against their concerns over things like social media and movies:
“The moral panic is over,” Professor Brand declared at the launch of the IGEA figures in Sydney, saying that with all the controversy social media has stirred up recently, the numbers have sharply changed on what concerns parents the most between games, social media and movies – proudly saying that games were actually the least concerning to parents of the three.
So, games aren’t that geeky anymore, it’s now fun to hate on social media! And you shouldn’t feel guilty about the hours you’ve sunk into Overwatch.