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New research reveals the average age of a New Zealand gamer is 33
Posted on 17-Aug-2010 11:07. | Tags Filed under: News.

A new research paper into New Zealand’s video and computer game sector has found that the average age of players is 33 years old and 88.5 per cent of all New Zealand households have a device for playing computer games.

The Interactive New Zealand 2010 (INZ10) report conducted on behalf of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) by Bond University is the most comprehensive study of its kind to be undertaken in New Zealand.

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 country to record 100 per cent 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 per cent of gamers are in fact over the age of 18 and have been playing on average for 12 years,” says Dr Brand.

Central to the research findings is the role that video games now play within the family as a whole. Research finds 63 per cent of parents play computer games themselves and 59 per cent play games with their children to spend time with them. 64 per cent of parents use games to help educate their children, and 95 per cent of say they are aware of the games that are played in their homes.

“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.”

“The figures also show that the majority of gamers play moderately with 60 per cent playing up to an hour in one sitting and only 4 per cent playing for five or more hours,” says Dr Brand.

Other highlights from the research include;

• Females make up 44 per cent 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.

Family and action games account for nearly 40% of all game software sold in 2009. The New Zealand computer games industry grew by more than 12% and conducted over $170 million in 2009 according to GfK OzToys.

According to Mark Goodacre, Director of iGEA, the interactive games industry has never been more dynamic as individuals of all ages and all walks of life engage with video and computer games.

“Interactive entertainment is now used in education, for medical rehabilitation and in training and development. Video games are played by the elderly in retirement villages, and in therapy for young people at risk, but most of all, and as this research highlights they are played by a huge cross section of our community, just for fun” says Goodacre.

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