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State of play: National study reveals video games’ benefits

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 per cent), 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 per cent 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 per cent playing video games, and it’s easy to see why. Ninety per cent reported they play to increase mental stimulation, 80 per cent state video games help fight dementia, and 54 per cent 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 per cent of all players.
  • Games are up there with the kitchen sink in family households – 97 per cent of Australian households with children state they have video game devices, eight out of 10 own multiple game devices.

About Digital Australia 2018

Digital Australia 2018 is the seventh study in a series of national Australian research that began in 2005. The report, which is based on a study of 1,234 Australian households and 3,135 individuals, looks at the demographics of Australians who play games, play habits, behaviours and attitudes.

Download the DA18 report
Download the DA18 key findings

About IGEA

IGEA is an industry association representing the business and public policy interests of Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA’s members publish, develop, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content and related hardware including mobile and handheld games. For more information, please visit

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