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70% of Australians play games, 90% of homes have a gaming device - study

A new study has found gaming is extremely common in Australia, and that the typical gamer is a pretty average person.

According to the Digital Australia 2014 report, nine in ten Australian households have at least one device for playing interactive games. An increasing number of Australians are using consoles, smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs specifically to play games.

As for who these gamers are, the study found that 76% of gamers are over 18, and the average age is 32; the average of the Australian population is 37, apparently.

Those aged over 51 make up one-fifth of the total gaming population, and that those in their 40s and 50s make up the largest group of new gamers in the last two years. Older Australians said they play games to keep their minds active, challenge themselves and learn, whereas young australians play for social interactions, thrills and to relieve boredom.

"When we conducted the first report in 2005, video games were seen as a medium aimed at younger children who only played on a console or PC. Today, the profile of the typical gamer is nearly synonymous with the profile of the typical Australian," report author Dr. Jeff Brand said.

Here's a couple of other key findings:

  • The number of Australians playing games on a tablet device doubled to 26% in the last two years. A further 47% of Australians play games on their smartphone device, up from 42% in 2011. Game consoles are still used by the majority of Australians with 63% of households using a console to play video games.
  • Nearly nine in ten gaming households in Australia own three or more screens to play games.
  • 86% of parents who game play with their children. Seven in ten parents use video games to educate children. 81% of mums play video games and 83% of dads play.

Digital Australia is an annual study by Bond University commissioned by the IGA. This year's report, the fifth to date, draws on a June 2013 survey of 1,220 households of 3,398 individuals. The full report is available on the IGEA's website.

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