New research by Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has shown video and computer games are no longer just about entertainment. Games are being used in a wide variety of fields including aged care, the workplace, health and education.
Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and lead author of the report, said that while the percentage of Australians that play video games remains relatively steady (67%), we’re also playing to achieve an advantage.
“The fun continues through interactive games, but the research shows that games increasingly serve other uses. Australians are playing to improve their health and for positive ageing. They’re using games in the workplace and at school.”
Digital Australia 2018 studied 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, revealing eight in 10 people believe that playing games can improve their thinking skills and dexterity, while 59% say video games can help manage pain.
Australians over the age of 65 continue to make up the largest group of new players over the past six years, with 43% playing video games, and it’s easy to see why. 90% reported they play to increase mental stimulation, 80% state video games help fight dementia, and 54% agreed playing games can help increase mobility.
Games are now firmly entrenched in education, learning and training settings. A third of Australians have used games at work, and one in two parents reported their children have used games at school.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said, “The opportunities games and games-based technology present beyond just entertainment are immense. Games now play a fundamental role in how we learn and work. Australians are also embracing games’ capacity to solve high value social and health problems.”
Other key findings of the Digital Australia Report 2018 include:
- The average Australian consume games just like other entertainment media – 89 minutes is the average daily total of all game play.
- The modern face of gaming – The average player age has increased by a year to 34. Forty-three per cent of Australians aged 65 and over play video games, and females account for 46% of all players.
- Games are up there with the kitchen sink in family households – 97% of Australian households with children state they have video game devices, eight out of 10 own multiple game devices.
(Source: Bond University)