The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) has released the updated findings of its annual Digital Australia Report – the one compiled by Dr Jeff Brand from Bond University. It’s the time of year nerds like to tell everyone that their average age is 33, that 47 per cent of them are women, and that games are somehow good for your health, the economy and whatnot.
As someone who was once part of the industry and has interviewed Dr Brand on a number of occasions, I can tell you that it’s all just a giant ad campaign designed to make videogames look good. The IGEA won’t release information that makes the industry look bad.
So in the spirit of writing something that will piss someone off (because anything less just isn’t worth publishing), here are ten likely things the IGEA probably doesn’t want you to know about video games:
- Of the 61 per cent of respondents who believe video games can fight dementia, none have any actual medical or scientific qualifications to support the claim.
- Think it’s bad that one in two gamers don’t even know that app stores use a different rating system? Children can freely download violent and explicit games from these app stores because they completely bypass our classification system. And their parents have no idea.
- Two out of three couples would rather do something other than play video games.
- People who don’t think of themselves as gamers are called gamers anyway. No seriously, a few rounds of Words With Friends on the bus apparently counts.
- Of the 47 per cent of respondents who identified as female, most have experienced sexist abuse during online play. The rest pretend to be male.
- The industry grew 20 per cent through accidental in-app purchases, DLCs and other opportunistic sales strategies.
- Gamers spend around 88 minutes per day playing video games. That’s 23 times the amount of time most people spend having sex*.
- The average gamer started playing in 2003. Names like Tetris, GoldenEye, Quake, Double Dragon and Ghosts N’ Goblins are completely alien to these people.
- There are more smartphones in the world than there are toothbrushes. A market penetration of 98 per cent of homes with children for video games is pretty bad when you think about it.
- Flappy Bird counts as a game.
*13 minutes, twice per week, apparently.