Whatever their age or occupation, Kiwis love to game. These games take on many forms spanning across different platforms and mediums. The reasons for playing are numerous. It’s not just about fun for many New Zealand residents who like to keep their brains active, socialise, or even win money. Let’s take a look at some of the favourite pastime games in New Zealand.
Gaming has always been a popular hobby in New Zealand. Kiwis have always enjoyed passing the time with one of the numerous types of games on the market and that is only increasing. In 2019, a study found that the average New Zealander spends 88 minutes a day playing games. That is an increase from two years previous as games grow and become about far more than just gaming.
Kiwis are enjoying games for a wealth of reasons. For many, it’s about socialising. Users can enjoy playing along with their friends – whether they’re local or halfway across the world. The recent developments to mobile and internet gaming have made this possible.
But there are other reasons why gaming is becoming a national pastime for New Zealanders. The same study found a major growth in popularity amongst some of the more experienced Kiwis. 42% of New Zealanders aged 65 and over now identify as gamers according to the study. Many of these players enjoy the intellectual aspect of the hobby, allowing them to keep their minds sharp.
“In recent years we have started to understand the deeper reasons why people play,” says Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and the report’s lead author.
“While fun is still first and foremost for New Zealand gamers, it is by no means the only reason. We found a diversity to how New Zealanders use games – from education and upskilling, to preserve social and emotional connections and as a powerful health and wellness tool in staying fit and reducing stress.”
Because of the variety of reasons people have for playing games, New Zealanders are enjoying a wealth of different types of games. September 2019 saw games like FIFA 20 and NBA 2K20 at the top of the list of most-played games in New Zealand. The sports titles from international gaming giants EA are hugely popular, particularly with younger players.
But the local gaming industry is also thriving in other ways. New Zealand is behind some of the most popular online games on the net today. More and more users are enjoying pokies and table games on sites, many of which are based in New Zealand. Sites like offer Kiwis the chance to play along with games like blackjack, roulette, and hundreds of different pokies.
This, in particular, is a major pastime for Kiwis. A study found that 80% of New Zealanders games in some form. Local companies are catering to this audience with many sites based in the region now proving to be hugely popular not just in New Zealand, but across the world.
Gaming is a national pastime in New Zealand for a number of different reasons. Because there are so many different types of games on a wealth of platforms, the possibility is endless. Players can enjoy games because they want to socialise with friends, to keep their brains active, or that they just enjoy the challenge. One thing is clear is that the gaming industry is enjoying a resurgence which proves that New Zealanders like a lot more than just rugby.