The Typical Australian Gamer Is 32 Years Old

The Typical Australian Gamer Is 32 Years Old

OK, this shouldn’t be news, but it’s always nice to have solid data to back you up when you’re stuck in an idiotic argument with a mouth-breathing talkback listener about how computer games are only for kids and thus can’t contain even a hint of adult activity. The annual Digital Australia report from the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) confirms that 76 per cent of gamers are over the age of 18, and the fastest-growing segment is gamers over the age of 40.

93 per cent of households have some form of gaming device, and 65 per cent play games regularly. You can see a stack more choice statistics in the infographic below (click to see the full-size version).



  • With that 87% of households that have 3 or more screens, are we talking triple monitor setups or having 3 computers with 1 screen each?

      • A second TV is probably a must in any house that has kids. When I still lived at home we had a PC + 3 TVs (including my mother’s black and white portable that she’d owned since attending nursing school in the 70s).

        Since moving in with my girlfriend/wife I’ve never needed more than one, despite my wife occasionally floating the idea of putting one in the bedroom.

          • Given the image is of proper screens only, common sense dictates it only means tv/monitors.

            Besides if you counted smart phones/ tablets and everything else that number would be much much greater.

          • Just for clarity, before we included a ‘screen’ we asked if that screen was used to play a game on. So, if there was smart phone NOT used for games, it wasn’t included.

  • 30 year old male, have multiple consoles, a decent rig and a smartphone and a handheld console. Live with my 27 year old girlfriend, who plays on her smartphone and laptop.

    • Last I checked those are still games, and given the popularity of Facebook in the teen demographic if that’s going to skew the figures it’s more likely to skew them down.

      Not everyone playing Candy Crush Saga is in their 40s.

      • Facebook games are hugely popular with their fasting growing segment, which is the 50+, so that should balance out the teens.

      • I sort of agree, but at the same time there’s a huge difference between how my mum plays Candy Crush Saga and how she plays Mario World or Donkey Kong. Facebook games and Solitaire are games, but they’re also sort of like scribbling on a desk or chewing your nails. A significant amount of people don’t play them as much as they sort of just do them while idling.

  • Any statistics based on a sample size of about 0.01% and entirely from an online panel should be taken with a generous amount of salt.

    • Any person with an entry level stats understanding will know a proportion of the population is not the basis for estimating probability. 1200 households is a large national poll with a small margin of error.

    • 0.00014850088 to be precise HOWEVER its is a common misconception that small sample sizes negatively impact usability, they merely mean (no pun intended) that you are limited to drawing larger more general conclusions which this report does. As for the online aspect I’m pretty sure the AC neilson ‘your voice’ surveys ensure an equal distribution across demographics (as they need your age and location, which would presumably allow them to factor in socio-economic status using ABS data).

      TL;DR: survey and results pretty accurate, additional ‘salt’ not required

    • I do, but not for long if the misses has anything to do with it. I have to spend time with her, watching Big Brother (gag)……

      • Do what I did…
        My wife use to always complain that I wouldn’t spend time with her watching tv, which was always the shows she wanted to watch. Home and Away, reality shows, talent shows, etc etc.
        So I told her that in return she had to spend time with me watching me play my game.
        “Deal!” she said.
        So, one night, she sat and watched me play WoW as we got ready for a 40 man raid.
        After 15 minutes she was complaining she was bored. 20 minutes she was asleep. Hour later she woke up and went to watch tv.
        She never asked me again. That was five years ago.

        Now we have kids. Of a night time she’s watching Home and Away, Xcraptor and all that crap while the kids and I play Minecraft or other games together before they go to bed.

        • Haha that’s exactly it. It’s so strange that watching TV together is considered ‘time spent together’ because you’re physically next to each other, but then the only interaction you do is on the ads. If you want to actually spend time together, pick up that controller and challenge me to Smash Bros! 😀

          I’m starting to get gaming time with my oldest (almost 4 y/o girl), but she doesn’t get into GTA5 the way I do (joking joking! NSMB all the way)

        • Mine works a little differently; she asks if i want to watch Once Upon A Time with her and I say “no”. I ask if she would like to try and get into Friday Night Lights and she says “no”. I ask if she wants to watch Breaking Bad, she says “yes”. We basically just ask and accept eachother’s responses. It does help that she hates reality and australian television way more than i do.

      • I watch stuff with the mrs sometimes like revenge/once upon a time/harry potter etc (admittedly I don’t have it as bad as you, big brother is horrible), but usually while she does that I read comics or play games on my nexus 7 (metal slug!), we still talk to each other and hang out on the couch together, we just don’t watch the same ‘screen’, she’s cool with it as long as we are doing that.

        She also hangs out with me while i play ps3 as well, but she watches youtube beauty videos and movies on her tablet (sometimes she uses headphones, I don’t mind either way), so it works both ways.

      • By a Wii U (or a DS or Vita). Then you get to watch TV with her while playing Mario. It’s like putting a comic inside of a school book. =P

  • I think if we want more accurate results on gamers, these statistics should be in the national census survey

    • If everyone doing a survey or scientific study added their questions to the census it would be as thick as a phone book and no one would do it.

  • 93 per cent of households have some form of gaming device,

    I’d say that statistic is a bit misleading, because this study probably counts everything from consoles and PC’s to smartphones and tablets as gaming devices. While it’s true many people do use their phones to play games on, many people don’t…outside of something like Angry Birds or Temple Run.

    Also as @seegrey said, this would probably also include stuff like facebook games. I’m not questioning the eligibility of that stuff to be counted as “games”, but many facebook users tend to play those and nothing else, which might give a slightly inaccurate impression of the overall picture.

  • Average age is 32, 76% are over 18 and yet we still can’t have drug use in R18 classified games because we’re apparently all too stupid to separate fantasy from reality. Go censorship!

  • How did we manage to pervert the term ‘gamer’ so easily? It’s the new fad, like how the terms ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ have been popularized and everyone with a pair of frames with no lenses thinks they’re now one.

    The typical Australian person who plays games may be 32 years old. But most of these people are not ‘gamers’. People who come to read Kotaku, they’re gamers. People who spend a big chunk of their time and money playing games… they’re gamers.

    I’ve said this before: I can play a couple of tunes on the keyboard and indeed do so once in a while, but I’m not a musician. I go for jogs around the block sometimes but I’m not an athlete. I go to the gym for an hour a day but I’m not a bodybuilder. I draw and paint but I’m not an artist. You get where I’m going with this?

    People who play a game for an average of an hour a day are not ‘gamers’ (keeping in mind that many play for less). They’re people who play games, sometimes.

    We’re trying to be so politically correct that we’re slowly making all these terms so generic that they end up meaning nothing. All for the sake of ‘being inclusive’. We’re all musicians, athletes, bodybuilders and painters.

    I’m not saying this because I take some sort of pride in being a gamer. I’m just sick of the lack of thought that really goes behind these statistics and how terms are systematically misused. I’m also not denying that a Facebook game is still a game. Of course it is. But my mom playing Candy Crush on her mobile phone for half an hour a day as a means to ignore my dad does not make her a gamer.

    • I read Kotaku and keep fairly up to date with news, releases, etc., but I’m not a “gamer” according to your definition, which doesn’t really bother me.
      Beneath this pallid, hunched exterior beats the heart of a filthy casual.

      • Hehe. Maybe I used that bit incorrectly.

        I really don’t mean to undermine IGEA (because the work they’re doing is fantastic) nor anyone else for that matter, I’m just being critical of the approach and the conclusions we jump to.

        • Yeah, I got where you were coming from, just making an observation, but it does indicate that there’s a gradient, rather than a defined line.

    • This is a ridiculously elitist view. You should read Aisha Tyler’s facebook post. People can be whatever they want to identify as.

      • Can I identify myself as a sprinter if it takes me over a minute to run 100m?

        Also I’m not trying to be an elitist prick. I don’t identify myself as a gamer to anyone per se. I just play games. I dislike it when we infer things incorrectly and then regurgitate that information ad nauseum without ever questioning it.

        • I’d argue that if you sprint, no matter how badly, you can identify with it as you wish.

          But taking a step back, that you’re equating ‘gaming’, which isn’t a skill based definition, with something that could be argued has a minimum level of aptitude cutoff. One is a social grouping, another is (what I would define as) a skill grouping.

        • And if we’re continuing this view, then I don’t consider you a gamer because you were never competing against me in CEVO-P.

          • I think we mostly agree that it’s hard to cut a clear line here. For instance, you’re referring to professional gamers. A whole different level of gamers.

            But one thing I don’t agree with is the idea that my mom, who might play a game on her phone once a week, constitutes a gamer. That waters down the term way too much as @kingpotato put it and makes it completely pointless.

            I might as well call myself an astronomer because I have an astronomy book sitting on my coffee tablet that I sometimes look at.

            We have a different definitions of the term ‘gamer’. Some of us see it as describing someone who plays regularly, spends a lot of time doing so and is involved in the culture. From what I gather, others see it as anyone who ever played a game, even if it’s just once.

      • This has nothing to do with elitism and everything to do with watering down a term until it ceases to have any meaning at all.

        Which is correct, as according to this study 81% of mums and 83% of dads are “gamers”, but of that % I would assume maybe 30% (of that 82%, so around 24% of the actual parent population if that) could actually be called gamers.

        As in gaming is a significant part of their life, it is a “proper” hobby. As mike pointed out, just because you like to paint a couple times a year it doesn’t make you an artist, just because you go to the movies once month it doesn’t make you a movie buff or critique. If i scribble in a journal it doesn’t make me a writer (though it is all the experience i’d need to work for a murdoch rag xD)

        The point is the term gamer has been so diluted that it no longer has the same meaning, while yes these terms when diluted may still technically fit their oxford English definition. Its use as a descriptive term no longer has ANY merit at all when it would seem the entire population is now a “gamer”. Which is why most people object to the view that a soccer mum who plays candy crush for 10 minutes here and there isn’t a gamer, because it’s not really their hobby. By the same token the dad who plays some bejeweled while hes on the toilet here and there isn’t a gamer either.

        These “mobile” game players aren’t gamers in the terms we are talking about, they are playing this quick mindless thing to fill minute long voids instead of looking at a newspapper or a gossip mag, to them it doens’t matter what they are doing at that particular junction in time they just want something to do. In contrast to a “gamer” who would be actively seeking to play games. Which is just one possible way you might identify a gamer over someone who happens to play games.

        While you may disagree with the useage, once a term encompasses over half the population it ceases to be a descriptive term with any merit or meaning. Its like having a survey that says all people with a license are race car drivers or that 90% of school children are academics because only 10% skip class.

        The point is the use of gamer in this survey is too broad to have any meaning at all, ergo it is pointless.

        • A few years ago casual games were very rare as casual games themselves were very rare. Before Facebook and smartphones, or the Wii to a lesser extent, the only ‘casual’ games were Solitaire, Minesweep and Hearts on Windows. The dilution of the term ‘gamer’ and the general perception of ‘gamers’ has come about with the mass popularisation of playing computer games in a casual context. You may not like being lumped in with the millions of people who play Candy Crush Saga with religious ferver, but like it or not, the rise of ‘gamers’ in recent years, both casual and hardcore is pretty hard to refute.

          • I don’t think you understood what i was saying AT ALL. I’m not disputing that they are “Game players” Im disputing the use of the word GAMER as the description.

            In the same vein we don’t have a descriptive word for people who sleep in beds or use toilets for every bit of excriment be it a 1 or a 2. I’d wager the way the word “gamers” is used in this context would be very similar % wise of the total population when compared to the other examples I just listed.

            Which is to say, once the whole population are “gamers” (which would seem to be the case according to this survey) then nobody is a gamer. Which is why the word needs to be properly defined or have limitations otherwise it’s no longer a useful word or one that carry’s any kind of meaning.

  • Last time i read info on the average age of the Australian gamer it was about 21 I think. Not exactly sure how credible that was but even if that was a bit off these latest figures are pretty interesting.

  • Wait, if 76% gamers are under 18 and 19% over 51, that would mean that the ones between 19 and 50 are only a 5%? That can’t be right.

  • I am 46yo and consider myself a gamer. I spend 3-4 hours a day playing BF3 and GTA on Xbox 360. Go the old dudes. lol

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