Published on October 26th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning

Kiwi parents pick up the game controller during the pandemic

New research found that 76 percent of Kiwi parents turned to video games to connect with their children during the pandemic, according to the Digital New Zealand 2022 (DNZ22) report released today by peak industry body the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA). The report, conducted in conjunction with Bond University, explores New Zealand’s gamers’ habits and the gaming landscape during the pandemic.

Bond University’s Professor Jeffrey Brand said, “New Zealand parents are starting to see  video games as more than just entertainment – games are becoming a way for parents to connect with family on another level. With 58 percent of parents saying their children’s schools are now using video games as another avenue to teach, it’s a great way for parents to engage with their children while having fun and reinforcing what their children learn.”

IGEA’s CEO Ron Curry said the report demonstrated how important video games are for learning and social connection. “Gaming is already a popular hobby in New Zealand, but it’s also a part of everyday life for many. Three quarters of New Zealanders surveyed play video games socially with others either online or at home, maintaining important social connections that would otherwise be impossible in the face of lockdowns or travel restrictions.”

“Older Kiwis have also seen the benefits of playing video games – most play to keep their mind active during a time when many people are not able to go outside. Over three quarters of New Zealanders also believe video games can improve a person’s mental health, so it’s no wonder we see so many Kiwis connecting with games during the pandemic,” Curry continued.

DNZ22 found the average New Zealand gamer is now 35 years old and plays an average of 81 minutes a day. Almost half of New Zealand video gamers are female, and one third use online services for gaming.

Highlights from IGEA’s DNZ22 report:

  • Over 1.6 million of households (92%) connect with video games
  • 7 million New Zealanders (73%) play video games
  • 75% of households have two or more devices for gaming
  • 67% of New Zealanders agree that games connect people socially
  • 58% of children learn with games at school
  • 42% of New Zealand households use a game subscription service

To learn more about Digital New Zealand 22, visit the IGEA website .

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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