The Australian Government Still Thinks Games Are For Children

Image: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research / Department of Communications and the Arts

See anything wrong in this table?

It's a table from a paper released this week. The paper comes from the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research, which is an analysis and statistical unit within the federal Department of Communications and the Arts.

The idea of the paper is basically to estimate how much data Australians use now, and how much they'll use in 10 years. There's a lot of interesting data, like the fact that the average Aussie fixed-line internet connection used around 95GB of data a month as of June 2016.

Estimates can be tricky. For instance, the department reckons 8K content will only require 19.5 MBps of bandwidth by 2026 - because video compression will reduce the amount of data required by around 7 per cent a year. Put another way: your ADSL2 line will be able to stream 4K and 8K content comfortably in almost ten years.

Sure. I'm not buying it, but it could totally be possible. But what doesn't add up is the models the department used for "maximum bandwidth demand" scenarios. Under their modelling, the only instances where online gaming would become a factor is whenever children are involved, even by 2026:

Image: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research / Department of Communications and the Arts

What's the likelihood that single Aussies come 2026 wouldn't be doing *some* online gaming? And anyone who's tried to game while someone else is streaming Netflix or downloading will enjoy this part:

Image: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research / Department of Communications and the Arts

I don't know about you, but if I tried patching Steam and watching two YouTube videos while Tegan was trying to play Overwatch, my internet usage would be 0 Mbps. Because I would be dead.

But the really amusing part is how this analysis seems to rate online gaming as a high bandwidth activity, while pretending that adults don't game. And we know that simply isn't the case. Enter stage right, Bond University:

How Australians Are Playing Video Games In 2017

The Digital Australia study, an annual look at the way Australians are playing video games, was released today. It features all the statistics that you might expect from such a survey. Yep, pretty much everyone in Australia is playing video games. Yep, video games aren't just for kids. Yep, people play video games to stay sharp, healthy and happy. Every statistic one needs to arm themselves with when dealing with the powers that be is there.

Read more

Not only have we known that Aussie adults are huge gamers for years, it's also well documented that the average Aussie gamer is an adult - and something you would have thought the Department of Arts and Communications would have known.

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