Posted on 30-Oct-2013 09:45.
Filed under: News
Playing video games remains well-established on the list of favourite New Zealand past-times, according to the Digital New Zealand 2014 report launched today. Nine in ten households have at least one device for playing interactive games, and 86 per cent of parents who consume video games play with their children.
The report also finds that more people are switching on their consoles, smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs to play interactive games, which is causing a shift in the make-up of New Zealand’s interactive gaming population. New Zealanders in their 40s and 50s make up the largest group of new gamers in the last two years, and those aged 51 and over now make up close to a fifth of the gaming population.
Digital New Zealand 2014 is the third study in a series conducted by Bond University and takes an in-depth look at the interactive games sector in New Zealand. The report provides data on computer and video games uses and attitudes, as well as broader community concerns and issues around interactive entertainment.
Dr. Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and author of the report said, “When we conducted the first report in 2010, video games were still 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 New Zealander.”
"We now have three generations of New Zealanders enjoying video games – and we’re engaging with interactive games wherever we go. We might play a quick mobile game on the bus on the way to work, an educational game with the children after school and a family game on the console as a way to spend time with our grandparents on the weekend,” said Dr. Brand.
The key findings of the Digital New Zealand 2014 report include:
· More than just entertainment – The top reasons older New Zealanders (aged 51 and over) play games is to keep their mind active, challenge themselves and learn. Coincidentally, these reasons were identified as some of the least popular for younger gamers (aged 16 to 25) who instead choose to play games for social interactions, thrills and to relieve boredom.
· Not just child’s play, the majority of people who play interactive games are adults – 71 per cent of gamers are over the age of 18, and this figure has increased steadily over the years as adults continue to form the large majority of gamers in New Zealand. In addition, the average age of the typical gamer has now reached a plateau at 33 years old. This is closely aligning with the average age of a New Zealander, which according to recent Statistics New Zealand data is 37 years old.
· Nearly four in five parents use video games to educate children – This number is consistent with the previous Digital New Zealand report, as more parents play video games themselves and understand the benefits. This year, the report also found that 75 per cent of mums play video games and 79 per cent of dads play.
· Digital games on the rise, yet the majority of New Zealander play games on the PC and console – The report reaffirms the growing popularity of digital games with the number of New Zealanders playing games on a tablet device doubling to 22 per cent in the last two years. A further 44 per cent of New Zealanders play games on their smartphone device, up from 38 per cent in 2010. Interestingly, PCs and consoles are still used by the majority of New Zealanders with 60 per cent of households using a PC to play video games and 53 per cent using a console.
· Technology convergence drives video game consumption – New Zealand’s interactive games market has reached full market saturation due to the convergence of technologies. With many devices now offering the functionality to play video games, New Zealanders are able to engage with interactive games anywhere, anytime. Nearly nine in ten gaming households own three or more screens to play games.
Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) added, “The latest report reinforces the breadth and depth of New Zealand’s gaming community. The first generation of gamers are all grown up and playing video games not only for their own leisure, but as a way to connect with their children and their own parents.”
“Whether we’re ‘snacking’ on a mobile game or enjoying the immersive experience of playing on a console, it’s clear that video games has truly become as mainstream as playing sports or watching TV,” said Curry.