Video games more popular than free TV in Australia

Video games are now more popular in Australia than free-to-air television, following the rise of streaming and the resurgence of recent lockdowns.

That’s according to a new study from the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association in agreement with Bond University.

Video games are also used as a social tool, with 75% of Australian gamers using them to connect with others during the pandemic. As a form of entertainment, gaming ranks second after streaming television and movies.

Video games were not only a vital source of entertainment during the pandemic, but also a means of connection, communication and social interaction between friends and family, as well as education and comfort for children”, Bond University professor Jeffrey Brand said.

“70% of the participants lived in an area that experienced a lockdown during the pandemic, and more than a third of those participants said they had played more video games. Almost a quarter said they use gaming tools to communicate with others, with all new findings included in this year’s report.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry said: “For the first time since we started the Digital Australia research series, Australians have preferred to play video games over watching free TV, just after TV and streaming movies.

“More Australians are turning to video games for social activities and mental health, turning video games from a hobby into a larger cultural touchstone for families and friends to stay connected. . Video games inspire creativity. We see people connected to the game culture, whether it’s making games themselves, making mods, watching streamers, or even attending in-game concerts.

The average player is 35, having started around the age of 23 – playing an average of 83 minutes a day.

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