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Bond University and iGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) have released their Digital Australia 2012 (DA12) report based on a representative sample of Australians (1252 Australian households with 3533 people in them) further demonstrates that gamers are neither outsiders, anti-social, nor all men (almost half aren’t). Some key findings:

  • Females make up 47% of the total game population, up from 46% in 2008.
  • The average age of video game players in Australia is 32 years, up from 30 in 2008.
  • 75% of gamers in Australia are aged 18 years or older.
  • 94% aged 6 to 15 years compared with 43% of those aged 51 or older play video games.
  • The average adult gamer has been playing video games for 12 years, 26% have been playing for more than 20.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 gamers play social network games and 1 in 10 massively multiplayer games.
  • Playing habits are moderate with 59% playing for up to an hour at one time and only 3% playing for five or more hours in one sitting.
  • Of parents who play games, 88% play with their children, up from 80% in 2008.
  • 90% of parents who play computer games themselves use them to help educate their children, up from 75% in 2008
  • 79% of parents say an adult makes the purchase when games are purchased for their children.

[Full Report PDF] [Key Findings PDF]

Links for August 4th 2010 through August 10th 2010:

  • Women Set the Pace as Online Gamers [NYTimes.com] – “Although women are still slightly in the minority among global Web users, they are closing ground with men and, once connected, spend about two more hours online a month on average. […] Women also outpace men in photo sharing and shopping, and in what may come as a surprise, gaming, favoring casual puzzle, card and board games. Female gamers over 55 spend the most time online gaming of any demographic by far and are nearly as common as the most represented group, males 15 to 24.”
  • Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars [Information is Beautiful] – Fantastic infographic showing a timeline of some of Wikipedia’s silliest editing wars.
  • Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers [News.com.au] – Unilever Brazil has embedded 60 GPS trackers in OMO washing liquid bottles and then their teams have followed the pruchasers of these bottles home and given them prizes. Understandably, many privacy issues have been raised!
  • Does Facebook unite us or divide us? [CNN.com] – Brilliant, and a little confronting, TED talk from Ethan Zuckerman (senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society) looking at how globalisation might be a technical achievement, but not a social or mediated one (“cosmopolitan globalisation”). We look to our own social networks, and they increasingly narrow our perspective rather than broadening it.
  • Update on Google Wave [Official Google Blog] – Google Wove: Wave development ceases, after users find it’s all too complicated.
  • CommBank app lets people snoop on your house [SMH] – House-pricing information is apparently available to the public generally, but there is a real sense of privacy invasion at work here: “There’s a brand new property app on the block that gives iPhone users detailed information on the value of any house they care to point their handset towards, but privacy experts warn it may not sit well with the neighbourhood watch. Detailing sales prices of 95 per cent of Australian homes, the free app has been launched by the Commonwealth Bank in a bid to deliver more immediate buying and selling information to the public as they are actually viewing properties, helping them to ward off rogue sellers who attempt to talk up property prices. Just by pointing an iPhone at a particular property, they will be able to see the last sale price of the property, and if the home is actually for sale, the app will bring up a listing from realestate.com.au with details such as home layout and pictures.”
  • Thunderous Bolt sensitive to parody [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson weighs in on fake Twitter profiles in the wake of Andrew Bolt’s angry denouncement of (fake) himself: “Online fakery is something that draws on different strands in online and offline cultural history. Apart from drawing on early online examples like Fake Steve Jobs, Twitter faking has links with political impersonation, writing techniques like pastiche, and it also has some relationship to genres like fan fiction. After all, the best fakes don’t just go after their targets with blunt instruments, they create a narrative world for the fake persona to inhabit …”

Links for February 3rd 2010 through February 7th 2010:

  • Blogging: a great pastime for the elderly [Rough Type – Nicholas Carr’s Blog] – LOL: “I remember when it was kind of cool to be a blogger. You’d walk around with a swagger in your step, a twinkle in your eye. Now it’s just humiliating. Blogging has become like mahjong or needlepoint or clipping coupons out of Walgreens circulars: something old folks do while waiting to croak. Did you see that new Pew study that came out yesterday? It put a big fat exclamation point on what a lot of us have come to realize recently: blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the Internet. It’s even uncooler than editing Wikipedia articles or having a Second Life avatar. In 2006, 28% of teens were blogging. Now, just three years later, the percentage has tumbled to 14%. Among twentysomethings, the percentage who write blogs has fallen from 24% to 15%. Writing comments on blogs is also down sharply among the young. It’s only geezers – those over 30 – who are doing more blogging…”
  • Symbian phone operating system goes open source [BBC News] – This is a bit like Netscape going open source (and becoming Firefox) BEFORE they went broke! A good idea, if you ask me: “The group behind the world’s most popular smartphone operating system – Symbian – is giving away “billions of dollars” worth of code for free. The Symbian Foundation’s decision to make its code open source means that any organisation or individual can now use and modify it “for any purpose”. Symbian has shipped in more than 330m mobile phones, the foundation says. It believes the move will attract new developers to work on the system and help speed up the pace of improvements.”
  • Memes as Mechanisms: How Digital Subculture Informs the Real World [MIT Convergence Culture Consortium] – Alex Leavitt takes a look at memes (especially the Downfall meme), their mixed reception depending on context and familiarity, and gives a great overview of the many instances of the Hitler YouTube parodies, concluding: “Memes tend to be jokes, first, but they represent a valuable example of networked knowledge online. Although most memes do not escape the subcultural barriers of small Internet communities, a few do make an impact on the real world. Of course, many Internet memes are simply humor. But the evolutionary structure of some memes create a strong cultural value that acts as a grammar for information networks.”

Links for September 4th 2009 through September 8th 2009:

  • Paul McCartney, Elton John Oppose Music Piracy Plan [WA Today] – “Some of the biggest names in the music business, including Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney, have slammed the record labels’ plans to disconnect from the internet people who are caught repeatedly downloading music illegally. The artists label the plans backward, illogical, expensive and “extraordinarily negative”. The movie and music industries have been pushing ISPs to implement this “three-strikes” scheme voluntarily for years but talks have stalled. In Australia, the film industry is now suing iiNet in an attempt to have the courts force ISPs to do more to prevent illegal downloading over their networks. Behind the scenes, the content owners have been pressuring the Government to step in and resolve the impasse through legislation.” (Good to see the big-name musicians explaining to the record companies that taking legal action against their fans doesn’t engender goodwill or increase sales!)
  • Online advertising overtakes traditional media [SmartCompany] – “Small and medium businesses in the US are now more likely to advertise online than in traditional media, shows a new study from the US. Research from The Kelsey Group and Constat and reported on Digital Media shows that for the first time online advertising has overtaken traditional media. About 77% of US SMEs used online for advertising in August 2009 compared with just 69% that used traditional media. A year before 73% advertised online while 74% used traditional media. Steve Marshall, director of research at The Kelsey Group, says the milestone of digital/online surpassing traditional media among SMEs is an indicator of the broad shift to online platforms.” (All that targeted demographic stuff is starting to make a difference!)
  • STATS: Young People Are Flocking to Twitter [Mashable] – “One of the most actively discussed topics in the Twitter universe over the past couple months has been the idea that teens don’t tweet – at least not as much as older demographics, and certainly not as actively as teens who use other popular social networking sites. Now, it appears that this story may be shifting. According to new data from comScore, younger users – specifically those in the 12-17 and 18-24 year-old demographics – are Twitter’s fastest growing audience segment.” (So … teens do tweet. Is this the mashable equivalent of a retraction, then? :P)

Links for August 15th 2009 through August 20th 2009:

  • iiNet uses Telecommunications Act to boost copyright case [Australian IT] – "iiNet has put two new lines of legal defence before the Federal Court in its bid to stop a group of entertainment companies suing it for copyright infringement. … barrister Richard Cobden today ventured a new defence in which he revealed the ISPs intent to argue that bowing to AFACT's demands to disconnect the customers for "unproven allegations of copyright breaches" would itself be in breach of privacy provisions of the Telecommunications Act. Mr Cobden also told the court that the ISP intended to argue that any steps AFACT required it to take could not be considered reasonable unless its rivals in the telecommunications sector were also asked to pursue them. … iiNet said: "There are very good public policy reasons why ISPs cannot use their customers' information in the manner AFACT has demanded. "The existing law currently provides a process for investigating copyright theft or any other illegal activity using the internet, requiring court orders, warrants and due process."
  • Liskula Cohen Forces Google To Reveal Anonymous 'Skank' Blogger's Identity [SMH] – "A former Vogue Australia cover girl has won a landmark court battle to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who called her a "skank" and an "old hag". Model Liskula Cohen sued Google in January in the hope of forcing the company to reveal the person responsible for allegedly defamatory comments on a blog called Skanks in NYC, which was hosted by Google's Blogger service." (While I don't believe anyone is really anonymous online, I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with the precedent this sets with Google being forced to release user details.)
  • Video gamers 'older than thought' [BBC NEWS | Technology] – "The average age of an adult video game player is 35 – higher than previously thought, a US study suggests."

Links for August 6th 2009 through August 14th 2009:

  • Gaiman and Doctorow Discuss Giving It Away [Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy] – A few short questions with Doctorow and Gaimain about the usefulness (and profitability) of giving books away for free online. This quote from Neil Gaiman about giving away American Gods for a month is probably the most important: “It’s been really fun in my own slow way nudging HarperCollins out of the stone ages and into the dark ages. As far as I’m concerned the entire argument [of the validity of giving digital books away] was won at the point where I got them to put American Gods online…we gave it away for free for a month, and during the course of that month and for about four weeks after, the number of copies of all of my books…went up three hundred percent. As far as I’m concerned, that answered that question.”
  • Bringing the power of Creative Commons to Google Books [Inside Google Books] – Google Books now supports Creative Commons licenses: “Rightsholders who want to distribute their CC-licensed books more widely can choose to allow readers around the world to download, use, and share their work via Google Books. Creative Commons licenses make it easier for authors and publishers to tell readers whether and how they can use copyrighted books. You can grant your readers the right to share the work or to modify and remix it. You can decide whether commercial use is okay. There’s even a license to dedicate your book to the public domain. If you’re a rightsholder interested in distributing your CC-licensed book on Google Books, you have a few different options. If you’re already part of our Partner Program, you can make your book available under CC by updating account settings. If not, you can sign up as a partner. You can select from one of seven Creative Commons licenses, and usage permissions will vary depending on the license.”
  • apophenia: Teens Don’t Tweet… Or Do They? – danah boyd unpacks the claim that teens don’t tweet and finds the data lacking and misinterpreted.
  • Murdoch signals end of free news [BBC NEWS | Business] – “News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites. The media giant is looking for additional revenue streams after announcing big losses. Mr Murdoch said he was “satisfied” that the company could produce “significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content”. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” he added. “But it has not made content free. Accordingly, we intend to charge for all our news websites. I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media. “Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting,” he said.” (It’s far too late to put the free genie back in the bottle … this plan could easily materialise as the move which killed NewsCorp!)
  • News Corp records £2bn loss [guardian.co.uk] – “Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, News Corporation, slumped to a [US] $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the 12 months to June as a combination of plunging advertising revenue, impairment charges and online losses contributed to the company’s worst year in recent memory. The group suffered hefty accounting charges related to a drop in the value of its assets. After stripping out these one-off items, its full-year operating profit dropped by 32% to $3.6bn, with growth in revenue at the group’s cable television networks failing to make up for a slump in income from films, newspapers, books, magazines and online offerings. … n the final quarter of the year, News Corp made a $203m loss, compared to a $1.1bn profit for the same period in 2008, hit by a $680m impairment charge at Fox Interactive Media – the division that includes the social networking website MySpace, which recently shed 400 staff as it struggles to compete with larger rival Facebook.”

Links for August 5th 2009:

  • Women comprise 55% of Twitter users [SheSpotter] – “A new study released in Harvard Business publishing examines gender trends in Twitter.
    Highlights include: Females hold a slight majority on Twitter: men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. ” While there are slightly more women using Twitter, there are a lot less young people Tweeting according to Mashable.
  • Music off the menu as licensing row heats up [SMH] – “The fee paid by restaurants and cafes for background music is due to skyrocket if a new licensing proposal goes ahead. For Stuart Knox, the owner of the 55-seat Fix St James restaurant in the city, it means his annual licence fee would rise from $69 to more than $5500. ‘‘For that sort of fee, I’d prefer to buy my customers an iPod each and they can listen in private at their table,” he says. There is widespread concern in the restaurant industry that new tariffs suggested by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia will make the cost of playing music prohibitive.” (If costs get too out of hand, I wonder if someone will collate a whole range of Creative Commons Attribution – CC BY – music and point Australian restaurants to it – they wouldn’t need to pay a cent!)
  • Apple tries to silence owner of exploding iPod with gagging order [Times Online] – “Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company. The Times has learnt that the company would offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement.”
  • 2009 Social Network Analysis – Social Network Demographics – Social Network Geographic Data [Ignite Social Media] – Useful 2009 snapshot of the demographics and for: Badoo.com, Bebo.com, Digg.com, Facebook.com, Fark.com, Flickr.com, Flixster.com, Friendster.com, Gather.com, Habbo.com, Hi5.com, Iambored.com, Identi.ca, IndianPad.com, Last.fm, Linkedin.com, Livejournal.com, Meetup.com, Metafilter.com, Mixx.com, Multiply.com, Myspace.com, Netlog.com, Newsvine.com, Ning.com, Plaxo.com, Plurk.com, Pownce.com, Propeller.com, Reddit.com, Reunion.com, Shoutwire.com, Skyrock.com, Stumbleupon.com, Tribe.net, Tuenti.com, Twitter.com, Wayn.com, Xanga.com, Yelp.com, YouTube.com.

Links for July 24th 2009 through July 30th 2009:

  • Law 2.0 – Law 2.0: The Challenge of User-generated and Peer-produced Networks, Content & Culture [Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ] – Peter Black’s primer on the changing legal landscape in the ‘Web 2.0’ era. Pitched at legal educators, but a really useful overview for anyone interested. [Talk on Vimeo] [Powerpoint Slides]
  • Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Search Agreement [NYTimes.com] – “Microsoft and Yahoo announced a partnership in Internet search and advertising on Wednesday morning intended to create a stronger rival to the industry powerhouse Google. Under the pact, Microsoft will provide the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s popular Web sites. The deal provides a lift for Microsoft’s recent overhaul of its search engine, renamed Bing, which has won praise and favorable reviews, after years of falling further and further behind Google. Running such a search system proves expensive, and Microsoft can now filter more searches through the Bing technology infrastructure. It expects to deliver better answers to search queries over time as well by learning from more peoples’ queries.” Yacrosoft or Mihoo! ?
  • Would the real social network please stand up? [apophenia] – Some useful thoughts about social networks and their differences from danah boyd and Bernie Hogan: “The truth of the matter is that there is no “real” social network. It all depends on what you’re trying to measure, what you’re trying to do with those measurements. We do ourselves an intellectual disservice when we assume that these different types of networks are interchangeable or that studying one automatically tells us about another. Most scholars get this, even when they’re quoted out of context by journalists to suggest otherwise (see Cameron Marlow). But I get the sense that a lot of journalists, marketers, advertisers, politicians, and everyday folks don’t. This is a problem.”
  • China now has 338m internet users [News.com.au] – “The number of internet users in China is now greater than the entire population of the United States, after rising to 338 million by the end of June, state media reported today. China’s online population, the largest in the world, rose by 40 million in the first six months of 2009, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre. The number of broadband internet connections rose by 10 million to 93.5 million in the first half of the year, the report said.”
  • 6 Gorgeous Twitter Visualizations [Mashable] – Cool visualisation tools for Twitter – useful for explaining the potentially global conversations going on.
  • Movie studios try to harness Twitter effect | Technology [Internet | Reuters] – “Box office watchers say Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows anyone to post on-the-fly wisecracks for all the world to see, is the latest weapon in an arsenal of cell phones and computers that audiences use to critique films quickly, often when they are still sitting in theaters. Such word-of-mouth publicity from fan to fan can boost, or bomb, ticket sales. “Has everything speeded up? The answer is yes,” said Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president of marketing and distribution. “Depending on how big your opening day audience is, word-of-mouth starts playing a factor immediately,” he said.”

Links for April 17th 2009 through April 21st 2009:

  • Courts throw Facebook at digital navel gazers [WA Today] – “Const Robert Hogan claimed he was just playing around outside a nightclub when an off-duty military commando bit his face so hard that he drew blood and a five-centimetre gash. A judge ultimately punished his assailant with a suspended jail sentence but not before Constable Hogan’s private life was tendered to court as evidence, courtesy of his Facebook site. … These digital collections are so convincing to a jury, fed a constant diet of television forensics, that a Sydney University law professor, Mark Findlay, believes it is leading to cases being increasingly won on circumstantial evidence. “You are going to see a trend in trials away from oral evidence to documentary trials,” Professor Findlay said. Such a trend was concerning because documentary evidence was easier to fabricate than that provided by a witness, he said. Juries were also less likely to doubt the quality of the information. For example, they do not doubt that a text belongs to the owner of the mobile phone.”
  • Telstra cracks down on Twitter, Facebook mischief [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Telstra is the first major Australian company to tell its employees how to behave on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace …. there’s a decidedly old-fashioned flavour to its “3 Rs” document. It’s not reading, writing and arithmetic in this case though – Telstra employees are implored to observe responsibility, respect and representation. The guidelines tell employees who are using social media for personal use – a far more common and risky situation for the company – to include a disclaimer if they talk about Telstra. They say if someone plans to comment regularly about the company then they should post a permanent disclaimer but if they post infrequently they should use one on a case-by-case basis. A disclaimer would be similar to those attached to company emails, with words to the effect of “the views in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Telstra”. The guidelines are backed up with the threat of disciplinary action.”
  • With Oprah Onboard, Twitter Grows [NYTimes.com] – “One small message from Oprah, one giant leap for Twitter. On Friday morning, Twitter received the blessing of Oprah Winfrey, one of Middle America’s most influential tastemakers, when Ms. Winfrey tapped out her inaugural message using the microblogging service as the cameras of her talk show cameras rolled. “HI TWITTERS,” Ms. Winfrey wrote, using all capital letters in the Internet equivalent of shouting. “THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY.”” (Good to see Shaq calling her out for using caps! And how can Twitter remain kewl now? :P)
  • House, FB: A Consideration of Convergence Marketing [Jacqueline Vickery / Flow 9.11] – Fascinating look at how the death of a character on House in the US was followed by a seemingly real commemoration page on Facebook. After a thoughtful article, Vickery notes: “Once users were on Facebook however, Fox was provided with an instant demographic snapshot of House viewers – their gender, age, location, sexuality, and probably even their political and religious affiliations (since all of this information is privileged as “basic demographics” at the top of a Facebook profile). It is important to note that this snapshot is of course limiting and limited (by those with computers, internet access, and maybe a higher level of fan motivation), but nonetheless extremely valuable to Fox.”

Links for February 2nd 2009:

  • Researcher: No Link Between Violent Games & School Shootings [GamePolitics] – “A researcher at Texas A&M International University has concluded that there is “no significant relationship” between school shootings and playing violent video games. Writing for the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Prof. Christopher Ferguson criticizes the methodology used in earlier research linking games to violence and aggression. He also points out that no evidence of violent game play was found in recent high-profile incidents such as the Virginia Tech massacre, the Utah Trolley Stop mall shooting and the February, 2008 shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University.”
  • Internet users worldwide surpass 1 billion | Digital Media [CNET News] – “Global Internet usage reached more than 1 billion unique visitors in December, with 41.3 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released Friday by ComScore. The study looked at Internet users over the age of 15 who accessed the Net from their home or work computers. Europe grabbed the next largest slice of the global Internet audience, with 28 percent, followed by the United States, with an 18.4 percent slice. But Latin America, while comprising just 7.4 percent of the global Internet audience, is the region to watch, noted Jamie Gavin, a ComScore senior analyst. “
  • YouTube – 2009 Oscars Interactive Photo Hunt! – “A new genre? YouTube user Copyrighthater has created a game using YouTube’s in-video links and annotation tools. In each video (a.k.a. game level) you’re presented with two images from an Oscar movie and you have to find the difference and click it. If you’re right, you get to the next level.” (Thanks, Jill!)
  • The Pope on YouTube [Official Google Blog] – “Today we’re delighted to announce that the Vatican has launched a dedicated YouTube channel. To find out more about why the Pope has taken the decision to interact with YouTube on a regular basis, here is a short introduction from Father Federico Lombardi, S.I., Director of Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre and the Holy See Press Office.”
  • Video games thrash movies and DVDs [WA Today] – “The video games industry is now double the size of the box office and more than 40 per cent larger than the movie disc industry in Australia, thanks to explosive growth in social games that allow the whole family to play. The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) today released figures showing games industry revenue was $1.96 billion in calendar year 2008, an increase of 47 per cent from the previous year. Box office takings for the same period were up 6 per cent to $946 million, the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia said. Total revenue for movies sold on disc grew 5 per cent to $1.4 billion, the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association (AVSDA) said.”