Video games are one of the very few industries in entertainment that are not only massively popular but globally-popular. Everyone loves them, no matter where you’re from.
For some people, video games can act as a gateway to tech and IT. Playing video games from a young age and spending a lot of time in front of computers helps you get used to computers and technology from your younger years, and helps you build computer literacy and familiarity with them.
Western Cape premier Helen Zille is a big proponent of using video games as a means of replacing prevalent negative habits in teenagers like drinking alcohol. Upon visiting the I-Can digital gaming hub, she stated that the hub was critical to the Western Cape’s “Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer” program. According to Zille, the program does this by offering an attractive and beneficial activity for young people and stay away from the harm caused by alcohol abuse. According to her, video games were chosen specifically, in hopes of making tech attractive for youth.
The main idea here is to take gaming, which youth is so interested in, and use it as a substitute for less productive and positive habits like gambling, which is very popular among youth. Don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing wrong with a little gambling every now and then, but even if you’re playing at the best South African online casino, it’s just an objective reality that odds are always heavily in Casino’s favor, and the risk doesn’t make sense for some people, especially for younger people who don’t have as much income.
What do the Stats Say?
Based on data from GfK consumer life studies, which was done on 1000 participants, the main driving force of gaming’s popularity in the country is smartphones, accounting for roughly 54% of all gaming activity. In contrast, only 20% of the participants stated that they owned a dedicated console for gaming.
According to data, regular gamers are more likely to have higher education and live in households with relatively higher incomes. The study also suggests that regular gamers are more likely to exercise and go to the gym, socialize and drink alcohol.
Gamers also, on average, are much more likely to have a positive stance on technology progress and adoption. Roughly 60% of the gamers would describe themselves as “passionate about technology”, and around 80% stated having plans to purchase home electronics in the upcoming 12 months. They were also shown to, on average, be much more likely to purchase stuff online.
What’s to come?
With technology and game development both progressing at a very fast pace, there’s bound to be a lot of changes in how people behave in response to video games. Nowadays, the amount of time people spend gaming, and the actual percentages of people that play video games from any population, are much higher than it was not too long ago, and this percentage proportion is likely to keep going higher with the developments in the field.
The diversity of age groups is also rapidly increasing, as younger people who had to live in the birth of the gaming era are still playing. Needless to say, a much higher percentage of the current gaming generation is even more highly likely to keep on playing as time goes on.
Ultimately, it’s mostly up to the individual themselves on how positive or negative their gaming endeavors will reflect on their life in general, but in the case of South Africa, it definitely seems to have something it can teach others with the unique way it approaches gaming.