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Hands Up! It’s game on in the classroom



Digital Australia report finds 7 out of 10 parents use computer and video games as an educational tool

Sydney, Australia – 30 April 2012 – Australian parents are increasingly embracing computer and video games as an educational tool, according to the latest research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).

The report conducted by Bond University, Digital Australia 2012, found that four in five parents with children under 18 years old play games and of these parents, 88 per cent play with their children. Furthermore, 9 in 10 of these parents say games are educational and three in four parents actively use games as an educational tool with their children. 

The report found that parents are seeing their children receive numerous educational benefits from playing computer and video games including learning about technology, maths, science, planning, language, work, life and society in general.

Ron Curry, CEO of iGEA, says video games are increasingly embraced as teaching tools not only by parents but by school teachers and university lecturers too.

“Educational games bring the fun, engaging and challenging elements of video games together with a learning or informative component.  Whether it’s at home or in the classroom, we’re seeing a lot more people use the appeal of video games to make learning fun,” said Curry.

In 2011, Victorian Education Minister, Martin Dixon released findings from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Innovating with Technology 2011 report which highlights the positive role computer games play in student learning.

“Once thought of as a distraction to students, this report shows that computer games are now cementing their place in the classroom as important learning tools for all the right reasons,” Mr Dixon said.

“The early feedback from the 40 schools involved in this year-long trial has been overwhelmingly positive, with the initial reports from schools showing that while digital games were fun, they also held vast educational value and generated student interest in ways that more traditional methods hadn’t.”

Two further examples of video games being used in the classroom are included below:

  • Fitzroy North Primary School has seen the benefits of using computer and video games when its Years 5 and 6 students played games such as Sim City 4 and Civilization as part of their Humanities and Science subjects.  Kynan Robinson, Leading Teacher - ICT and Creativity at Fitzroy North Primary School, says, “I am a big believer in using games in education as games absolutely add to the learning experience.  It goes further than simply engaging students; it encourages them to experiment, to share, to develop, to publish and to work together.”
  • Last year, Lynette Barr, a Year 5 and 6 teacher at Pentland Primary, received an Outstanding Primary Teacher Award for her work in investigating the power of games-based learning in literacy and numeracy.   Lynette Barr said, “Using an online maths games such as Lure of the Labyrinth has been such a hit with my students.  They are more willing to take risks and explore other areas of the curriculum as well as help other students learn.”

Other key findings of the Digital Australia report include:

  • 79 per cent of parents are always or most of the time present when buying video games for their children
  • Australian gamers are playing video games moderately with 57 per cent playing either daily or every day
  • 59 per cent of Australian gamers play up to an hour at one time and only 3 per cent play for five hours or more in one sitting
  • The average Australian gamer is 32 years old

Digital Australia 2012 is the 4th report in a series conducted by Dr Jeff Brand at Bond University, based on a random sample of over 1,200 Australian households. It provides data on computer and video game use and attitudes, as well as the broader consumption of digital media.  

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About the iGEA

Interactive Gaming & Entertainment Association proactively represents companies that publish, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content.  iGEA aims to further advance the industry and the business interests of its members through informing and fostering relationships with the public, the business community, government and other industry stakeholders. iGEA is administered by a Board of Directors and supported by the CEO, Ron Curry.  iGEA was formerly known as the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA).

For more information, please visit www.igea.net.  

To arrange media interviews or photo opportunities with any of the following spokespeople below, please contact Anthia Crosby on +61 2 9904 4177 or via email at anthia@espressocomms.com.au

  • Ron Curry, CEO of iGEA
  • Dr. Jeffrey Brand, Bond University and Author of the Digital Australia 2012 report
  • Joedy Wallis, Senior Project Officer, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Kynan Robinson, Leading Teacher - ICT and Creativity - North Fitzroy Primary School
Lynette Barr, Year 5/6 teacher at Pentland Primary