Report: Nine Out Of Ten Australian Households Have Game Devices, Average Age Of Gamer Is Now 32

Digital Australia is an annual report that delves into Australia's gaming habits. This is the fourth in the series and Dr Jeff Brand, Associate Professor at Bond University and author of the report, unveiled some intriguing new findings.

Probably the most interesting finding is the sheer ubiquity of gaming as a pastime, and how old the average gamer is becoming. But according to Dr Jeff Brand, they're noticing a rapid growth in what he is calling 'snacking' - short burst gaming that usually takes place on a mobile device.

“The average Australian gamer is 32 years old and we’ve moved well away from the traditional teenage boy stereotype of a gamer," said Brand. "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,” says Dr Brand."

Other key findings of the reports were equally as startling...

• 47 per cent of gamers are females and this number has steadily increased since 2005. • The average adult gamer has been playing for 12 years. • 75 per cent of gamers are 18 years or older. • The Australian computer games industry hardware and boxed software sales totaled $1.7 billion in 2010. • 44 per cent of households that play computer and video games also own a portable music device compared to only 3 per cent of households that don’t play video or computer games. • 21 per cent of game households also own a BluRay device compared to 7 per cent of households that don't play games

And interestingly, but probably not surprisingly, online shopping is on the increase for those playing games.

43% of gamers still buy games from a local retailer, and 22% buy mostly from download stores such as Xbox LIVE. 14%, however, are now purchasing games from online stores.

You can download a full copy of the report here.


Comments

    So bummed I had to be teaching instead of at this event :(

      Don't worry, Rowen did a good job. A catch up would have been nice though.

    Quick, someone tell the government that only a quarter of gamers are children!

    So even with "75 per cent of gamers are 18 years or older" we still had the argument gainst the R18 rating.

      Won't somebody think of the children?!

      75% of gamers does not equal 75% of console gamers

    Facts and figures. You'd think they'd make a difference to those who use fear and rhetoric.

      Pssh, who needs FACTS and FIGURES when determining laws and legislation that impact on an entire nation? :P

      Now now now, facts and figures are only useful when they're deliberately misleading.

      These ones here are just simple honest fact about the demographics that comprise gamers. You can't influence policy with that sort of nonsense. There's nothing scary about it.

      But... but... won't someone PLEASE think of the children!!

      It's seriously pathetic that in this day and age, sound peer-reviewed scientific research and studies are being dismissed simply because they don't agree with a political group's point of view, yet studies and research that have been dismissed by the entire scientific community as being illegitimate and erroneously performed and/or interpreted are being held up in the spotlight by groups like the ACL to support their equally illegitimate claims. Heck, at the end even their own church failed to back up their position, they were so far out of line with the current community. That right there says a lot in and of itself

    “The average Australian gamer is 32 years old and we’ve moved well away from the traditional teenage boy stereotype of a gamer,”

    No, I'd say that's still the stereotype... if mass media is anything to go by.

      The stereotype these days seems to be more of a 30 year old manchild that lives alone, plays too many video games and refuses to join or contribute to society.

        You forgot the bits about not washing, and being a closet psychopath.

    I'd be interested to see how these statistics compare to other mass media such as movies, tv and dvds.

    75% over 18?!? I think that's something us gamers wouldn't have even predicted.

    32 average age is crazy too. It could be said that for every 10 year old playing videogames, there is a 52 year old doing the same.

      While I havent read the report yet (I do intend to when I get a chance), the stats do support your 52 - 10 statement, but it's not shown to what degree they define a 'gamer.'

      10 year-old putting 100's of hours into VGs compared to a 52 year or who occationally plays solitaire on their laptop on the train... still averages at 32...

        Bah! damn my poor maths. the 52 year old above should be 54 for it to work out.

          54!!! How lame. I really thought i'd be able to do simple mathmatics.

          I don't think the hours spend playing should make too much difference as long as there is a good enough amount of minimum hours.
          In saying that though, it may be hard for a lot of older casual gamers (iphone/ipad on train etc.) to properly work out how much they play per week.

            I think the average age is skewed by facebook gamers and phone casual gamers.
            I would be interested to see what the age split is when it comes to mobile vs PC vs console.
            I don't think us gamers would consider a lawyer at a train station on his iphone a "gamer"
            Depends on your definition i guess. Still interesting stats tho.

              This is why I can't stand the term 'gamer'.

              If I did use the term 'gamer', I would absolutely categorise the lawyer at the train station on his iPhone a gamer. How could you possible not? Is it someone playing a game? Yes.

        This is exactly what i think when i see these stats.

        They're counting every mum who has a go of 'that slingshot birds game' while she waits for the kids after school.

    And yet this study will do nothing because the political parties need the support of the religious groups who bitch and moan about this stuff until someone does their bidding, and if they don't get their way they throw a tantrum.

    Here's an idea then, how about an Aussie television show that talks and reviews about games, but it is made by and for adults?

    Good Game: Lose the rubber chickens, the terrible intro and the silly dress up.

    GAMETV: Lose everything and go away. Forever.

    ThatotheroneonONE: I think you are dead anyway. I hope so.

      because it will suck like 99.9% of other aussie shows. there is no talent here, they all move overseas

      What I'd like to see is an "Antique Roadshow" type show that breaks down old classics, pre-95 releases, but does so with refined elegance and scripty fonts.

        Scripty Fonts!

        Please can one of the presenters be called Scripty Fonts.

    "Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that." - Homer Simpson

    I know I've brought it up before, but you CAN skew data any way you like. Just a cursory glance at this tells me that their definition of 'gamers' is very different to ours.

    They say:
    That most 'gamers' play every other day.
    By far, most 'gamers' play to pass the time.

    Methinks to qualify as a gamer, you have only have had to played a game on your mobile phone or facebook account.

    P.S. Hi everyone!

    47% are females.... Gosh they are catching up quick :/

    Would be nice to see a casual and hardcore breakdown of this number...

      How do you define 'casual' and 'hardcore'?

    All those suggesting the 75% stat has any bearing on the R18 classification, should also consider how the report shows 94% of 6 to 15 years olds play games (in other words, more than 9 out of every 10 kids plays games). The average is 32 because there are less Australians under 18 years old, but the highest proportions by age groups are clearly the youngsters.

      What you have just said makes no sense.

        What's not to understand? Look at the report. The highest age groups of gamers are under 18. The reason 75% of gamers are over 18, is because there are more age groups over 18. 94% of kids play games. That's pretty much all of them.

    Isn't it about time we leave the term 'gamer' behind then? If a small section of people are especially passionate about games, why not call them game buffs - in the same way that everyone watches movies, but a small selection of people especially passionate about movies are movie buffs.

    The main problem I have with these sorts of studies is that it lumps the people playing Solitaire on their PC during down times or playing Angry Birds for ten minutes in the waiting area at a hairdresser or clicking some cows in Facebook into the same category as the gamer who spends nine hours a day playing World of Warcraft or the guy who competes in Starcraft tournaments.

    Side note: the 2009 census results say that the median age of Australians is 37.3 years old. If the median age of Australian gamers is 32 then that means we're creeping very close to the entire range of the population and it's just the people at the older end that aren't involved.

    Incidentally this also plays into the male:female ratio numbers as well. Overall, Australia's population is a 1:1 split, howver the 64+ bracket has 0.84 males to every 1 female, where the younger brackets have > 1 male to female. If the gamer age skews younger, then that also reflects the 53%:47% gamer gender split.

    In other words, this is exactly what you'd expect if practically everyone under the age of about 55-60 is playing games.

    By Bluray device that means PS3 right?

    Most of those adult gamers are playing games like angry birds on iPad. They wouldn't give a rats about the r 18 debate.

    While I would like to see a breakdown of the type of gaming it would still be a skewed result thanks to overlaps.

    For example, I am 40 years old and love games. After the kids are in bed and everything is done that's my time to jump into a solid gaming session on the PC or PS3. On the weekend I will try to get in some more family friendly console gaming with my kids. During the working week I'll pull out the phone and pass the time on the commute with a bit of casual mobile gaming or go retro with emulators (BEST reason to get an Xperia Play by the way)

    I guess that makes me a hardcore, family, casual, retro gamer (or something).

    Why try to categorise it,seriously. The office jockey you see on the train every day playing angry birds on his ipad could well be taking you down with skillful headshots in COD at night.

    Some people read more books than others, does this mean we should call them "hardcore" readers?

    Let people enjoy what THEY enjoy, and if that includes playing games then I will happily call you a fellow gamer!

    43% of people are foolish enough to pay the funtax from stores.
    22% are catching onto better methods.
    14% have found they can pay half price or less.

    I guess that leaves 21% under investigation for piracy.

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