Australians play video games for fun, connection … and science

Around nine in ten adults believe video games help students learn science and reading, according to the latest annual survey of Australian households.

Australia Plays details the findings of a survey of 1,219 households by Bond University in collaboration with video games industry body, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association. 

Three-quarters (76%) of adults believe video games also inspire students to be creative.

The report is the latest in a research series spanning 18 years, which shows more and more Australians engaging with video games over time.

The latest figures show 81% of Australians play video games in 2023, up from 67% in 2021, an increase that likely reflects greater use of online electronic devices post-pandemic.

Author of the report, Bond University Professor Jeffrey Brand says in a statement: “With 94% of Australian households having at least one device to play video games, there is no denying the significance of video games in the lives of everyday Aussies.”

The number of women and girls playing video games now sits at 48%, with men making up 52% and around 0.1% of players identifying as non-binary.

The average age of video game players has been increasing from 24 in 2005, to 35 years old in 2023.

“Video games offer something for everyone – anyone can be a gamer, not just children and students, but parents, grandparents, your coworkers, and your boss,” Brand says. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of those surveyed say they play video games to have fun (93%). Around 70% play to improve their mental health.

For households with children, more than nine in ten surveyed say they play video games as a way to spend time together (92%) and connect as a family (91%).

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Credit: Bond University and Interactive Games and Entertainment Association

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