Digital Gaming: A Comparative International Study of Youth Culture in a Peaceful and War Zone Country

Lyn Henderson, Yoram Eshet-Alkalai, Joel Klemes

Abstract


This paper reports an exploratory survey in Australia and Israel of the leisure habits, attitudes and preferences of 716 teenagers aged 13-14 years who are part of the international digital games culture. The rationale was threefold: (a) this age group is not singled out in other surveys; (b) examination of gaming across five platforms would contribute new insights; and (c) the premise that a comparison between eGamers in a war zone and a peaceful country would produce striking contrasts. Virtually all participants played digital games for an average of 10-12 hours per week, the majority using all gaming platforms daily. Notable country differences were identified, particularly game genre preferences but there was also commonality as digital gamers. Digital games remain “boys’ games”, with males devoting more time to playing across five game platforms than did the females who, however, demonstrated a narrowing gap. Isolation and unfitness due to digital gaming proved contrary to popular media reports even though playing digital games was one of two top-rated leisure activities across country and gender.

Keywords


digital games; computer games; video games; electronic games; arcade games; internet games; eGamers; young teens; teenagers; Australia; Israel; fitness; health; isolation; addiction; leisure; game genre; gender; hours playing; international survey

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