A new research paper into New Zealand’s video and computer game sector is reporting that the average age of players is 33 years old and 88.5% of all New Zealand households have a console or PC used for gaming.
The study was conducted by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).
Dr Jeffrey Brand, Head of the Centre for New Media Research at Bond University, says that while New Zealand is largely consistent with other countries within the Oceania region, it is the first to record 100% in the number of households with children under the age of 18 with a computer game playing device.
“The research indicates that every New Zealand household with children has a device for playing games, and this really tells us that video games are ubiquitous in 2010. It’s also fascinating to note that despite this figure, 78% of gamers are in fact over the age of 18 and have been playing on average for 12 years,” says Brand.
63% of parents play games themselves and 59% play games with their children as a way of spending time with them. 64% of parents use games to help educate their children.
“In years gone by video games have been thought of as an isolating medium, enjoyed mainly by teenage boys. This research tells us that the opposite is true today, with parents playing games as a way to educate their children, spend time together and just have a good time as a family,” Brand continued.
“The figures also show that the majority of gamers play moderately with 60% playing up to an hour in one sitting and only 4% playing for five or more hours,” added Brand. That'll be the hardcore.
Other fun facts from the study include:
- Females make up 44% of the total gamer population
- Gamers and non-gamers share similar education, employment and household income profiles
- Across New Zealand, PCs are installed in 82% of game households, consoles in 69%
- 91% of New Zealanders aged 6 to 15 years compared with 43% of those over 50 play computer and video games
- As many as 46% of gamers play online and 59% with others in the same room