HomeGadget Bridge AceAustralia leading the video gaming revolution as participation tops 80 percent

Australia leading the video gaming revolution as participation tops 80 percent

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There are plenty of statistics around about the role that gaming now plays in our everyday lives. The industry is worth around $250 billion worldwide, and generates more revenue each year than the movie and music businesses put together. Those are impressive facts, but to understand the full extent to which gaming has become part of our everyday lives, we must look to Australia.

It is one thing to be told that today’s games are aimed at people of all ages. But deep down, we still see gamers as predominantly younger, while appreciating that people in their 40s and early 50s grew up in the 1980s and might still have a nostalgic attachment to retro games. But there is more to it than that.

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Australia Plays – and that means everyone

Last month, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) worked with Bond University in Australia’s Gold Coast to publish the Australia Plays 2023 report. It provides an eye-opening insight into Australia’s gaming habits. The stand-out statistic is that 81 percent of Australians play games every day, either on console, PC or mobile. The corresponding figure for the US is about 65 percent.

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The longer you think about it, the more remarkable that statistic becomes. Australia is depicted as a nation of surfers, but only about 12 percent of Australians surf. 51 percent of Australians read more than one book per year. Yet let’s say it again, 81 percent play video games. 10 percent of the population is either under 5 or over 80, meaning that practically everyone else is a gamer.

We would be hard pushed to find any other leisure pursuit that is so universally popular, with the possible exception of watching TV.

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Interestingly, the percentage of gamers is up from 67 percent 12 months ago, almost exactly the same percentage as we see in the US today. It is often surmised that Australia is a barometer for future tech trends on the wider stage, as Australia is tech ready and has a tendency towards early adoption. So what do the gaming habits of tech-loving Australians suggest for future gaming trends in the rest of the world?

Gaming as a social experience

One of the criticisms most commonly directed at gamers in years gone by has been that it is a solitary pursuit. We’ve all seen the clichéd image of a gamer as a young, male with poor social skills and an aversion to daylight. Clearly that ceased to be true by the end of the 1980s, if it ever was, but again, the truth is brought home by the data.

Three out of four Australian gamers said they predominantly play games with other people. That doesn’t necessarily mean Australian septuagenarians sitting on sofas, controllers in hand, battling it out over a game of FIFA (although it might). More likely, though, it involves games like online chess or Words With Friends or even Monopoly Live where players can take on other players, be they friends or strangers and regardless of age, sex or anything else.

Increased use of online casino platforms

 There is one aspect of gaming that has always been specifically tailored to adults. A night at the casino is the archetypal adventure playground for over-21s, and Australians have a passion for casino games that is greater than any other nation’s. In fact, Australians wager on average twice as much per capita as the second biggest spenders in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2021, the number of Australian gamblers went through the roof, increasing by 50 percent in less than 12 months. Given what else was happening in the world at the time, and the fact that real-world casinos were closed, that’s easily understood. However, in the two years since, the number has continued to rise, albeit at a more sedate rate.

The net result has been a huge influx of online casino platforms targeting the Australian market. This is in spite of the regulatory environment, which can at best be described as complicated. Resources like CasinoAus provide players with useful independent advice to help them select Australian real-money casinos that are professionally operated and offer the best deals and choices of game.

Gadgets and peripherals for the win

It’s no secret that mobile is winning the gaming war over console and PC gaming. But it is equally true that people a great deal younger than 70 or 80 have been known to complain about the fiddly nature of game controls on mobile devices.

There are already a wealth of accessories on the market to make gaming easier, but one look at what is happening in Australia should have the gadget manufacturers seeing dollar signs and working overtime. It is also possible that as the number of senior gamers continues to rise, we could see a renewed interest in such peripherals as external screens and mice.

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