Study: Average Aussie gamer now 30

IA9 study finds average age of Aussie gamer on the rise; DS top-selling gaming device in 2007.

The average age of gamers in Australia today is a little over 30 years--up from 28 last year--according to a nationwide survey that provides insight into the video gaming habits of Australians.

Dr Jeffrey Brand from Bond University helped compile the IA9 report.

According to the Interactive Australia 2009 report (IA9), 17 percent of adults in game households admitted to having pirated games in their collections, with nearly 10 percent of all games in Australian homes being illegal copies. Half of these pirated games came from copies made by family or friends.

The report also found that console games now account for 82 percent of game software unit sales, with family games being the most popular genre on consoles at 22 percent of all unit sales. Action, racing, and adventure games remained among the top five genres for consoles; on PC, strategy games dominate the category followed by first-person shooters, simulation games, and RPGs.

Console hardware sales reached 1.7 million consoles in 2007 and 2008. The DS took the top spot with 34 percent of sales, followed by the Wii (21 percent), PlayStation 2 (15 percent), PlayStation 3 (11 percent), Xbox 360 (10 percent), and PSP (9 percent).

Launched in Sydney today, the IA9 report from the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia also showed that 91 per cent of those surveyed support the introduction of the R18+ classification for video games.

The third study of its kind since 2005, the research was conducted and prepared by Bond University in Queensland, based on a random sample of 1,614 national households fielded by Nielsen Research in July this year. Of the 4,852 adult individuals surveyed, 68 per cent (3162) identified themselves as gamers, responding to more than 75 questions in a 20-minute online survey.

The aim of the report is to provide insight into Australia's gamers, and particularly the questions of who is playing video games in Australia, the importance of games in the family experience, the role of online access in game purchasing and play, and how gamers compare with nongamers on key demographics and attitudes toward gaming. Dr Jeffrey Brand, one of the authors of the study from Bond University, says the advantage of repeating the study is observing trends.

"Overall, the biggest trend is that games are more mainstream than they have ever been, and Australians who play them are more diverse," Dr Brand said. "Older Australians and more women are playing. The implication here is that games are becoming more diverse and meeting more entertainment needs."

The IA9 report predicts that by the year 2014, the average age of those who play video games will be the same as the average age of all Australians.

"The prediction is based simply on the trajectory of increasing average age among gamers," Dr Brand said. "The average age of Australians today is 36 years. Once playing computer and video games is something that is common across all ages, the average age of gamers will be the same as the average age of nongamers and, therefore, the average age of all people in this country. The gap is closing."

Yet according to Dr Brand, the biggest surprise to come from the IA9 report is how Australians feel about the classification of video games. According to the study, 91 per cent of those surveyed, both gamers and nongamers, agreed that Australia should have an R18+ classification.

"A large majority of Australians now think we should have an R18+ classification for games," Dr Brand said. "I considered that one statistic in our 2005 research might have been an anomaly: That 88 percent of gamers and nongamers said Australia should have this classification. We asked the question again this year and found that 91 percent said this. The result is astounding. Rarely in public opinion research does an unequivocal number like this show up."

The IA9 report found that 78 percent of parents say an adult is present when games are purchased for their children, and 92 percent of parents say they are aware of the games that are played in their homes. Families are also engaging with games: 70 percent of parents in game households play computer and video games and 80 percent of those parents play them with their children.

"I think this says something about modern parents," Dr Brand said. "I'm one of them. I have three boys aged 5 to 11; they all play computer games, my wife and I play them too. Sometimes we all play together. It's fun; it strengthens our family and keeps us as parents across what's happening. The adults who say games are more harmful than helpful are generally adults who don't play games themselves. It's a stereotype, plain and simple.

"Computer games are no longer thought of as toys or child's play. As more people have begun using games, old stereotypes and misplaced fears have faded and more rational understanding about the medium has grown."

To read more about the IA9 report and the habits of Aussie gamers, check out our feature, Player Profiles, here.

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Discussion

22 comments
Spyder25000
Spyder25000

comone kevin rudd wants to play fallout 3 and he dosnt want to get caught with his illegal copy, haahahah. Yay for r18+

Erebyssial
Erebyssial

"The adults who say games are more harmful than helpful are generally adults who don't play games themselves. It's a stereotype, plain and simple." So true. Unfortunately, these are the people that make the decision for whether we get an R18+ rating or not. *sigh* I wonder if it'll ever get through their heads.

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

Obama cant help himself and I wouldnt want him tring to do anything here anyway better off getting a rock to try :P

no_out
no_out

We have politicians all for the introducyion of an R18+ like Greg Tannahill and Rob Hulls. What needs to be done is to raise awareness of video games and show people that they are a legitimate form of art and story telling.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

The only way for this to mean anything is for a politician to get behind the issue and make it a big deal. Otherwise Michael Atkinson can continue to ignore the rest of us without any backlash. Unfortunately, there is a perception that there are no political points to be earned on the issue (despite the huge percentage of Australians who play games and vote). So, I don't know quite where that leaves us.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

"This won't mean anything. Since when did facts and statistics mean anything to politicians?" they mean a lot... but only when they actually match the politicians personal views ofcourse

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

What good is this survey honestly when M. Atkinson dont give a crap and by not caring about what people say due to his smug and selfish desires it wont change the 18+ rating issue. We can survey until we get old and grey and it wont matter until either he is gone or pulls his head out of his backside and quits treating australians like babies him being the dad to all...

-P4R4D0X-
-P4R4D0X-

This won't mean anything. Since when did facts and statistics mean anything to politicians?

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Thank you for posting this. I hope you've sent it to the pollies.

TicTac8745
TicTac8745

OK those politicians have the numbers to show that gamers are now older, now give us the damn R18+ rating and stop censoring everything!

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

this study hopefully paves the way for an R18+ rating in Australia

gummy_joe
gummy_joe

I agree with themovi3nut that as specified several million times that there should be an R rating system, parents who don't like they're kids playing grand theft auto will have a confidence that they can't legally buy it until they are 18 and are ready for the content. And i can't believe that the gaming age has increased 4 years

themovi3nut
themovi3nut

well i think i agree with those 91% of people about the R18+ rating.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

We also have booming software and hardware sales, we are rapidly catching up to some of the bigger markets in Europe who have larger populations.

Krammin
Krammin

1 year below average, i feel better about myself now.

Yellowshirts
Yellowshirts

the reason there is no R18+ games is because of Australia's equivalent to Thompson: Michael Atkinson The other AGs are happy for R18+ games but he just Vetoes them away and according to our "constitution" ALL of the AGs have to be on par for stuff to be changed... so i say... have atkinson killed -_- and thanks to the exchange rate going to s*** i can no longer afford to import my games... its actually cheaper to buy them in oz... and oz games are dumbed down...

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

My father's closing in on 60 but he's still an avid gamer since starting with Pong!

DarkDamo
DarkDamo

The Classification Board (was OFLC) can only follow the laws that are in place. If you want an R18+ rating or to complain that a game has been banned, you need to point the finger at Michael Atkinson who is the only person stopping us from getting an R18+ rating.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

negativenetwork
negativenetwork

interesting find. WHY isn't there adult games being released then? everything is censored. manhunt 2 didn't even get released here. what a joke. perhaps the whole industry needs to take a good hard look at itself. there are dvd's with adult content released for adults. why not video games? it makes no sense.