Meet the grandma gamer breaking the stereotype

Meet the grandma gamer breaking the stereotype
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Gaming is often thought of as something that only children do, but did you know the average age for a gamer in Australia is now 35? 

New research from the Interactive Games Association of Australia, alongside Bond University, shows that the average gamer age has gone up and nearly half of all gamers are female. 

The Digital Australia survey is conducted yearly and shows gaming, once seen as a niche, is now at the forefront of at least 8.5 million Australian households. 

, Meet the grandma gamer breaking the stereotype,
Gamer grandmother Haughty Chicken is breaking the stereotype, promoting kindness and self-love online since April this year. (Supplied)

The survey also showed 46 per cent of Australian gamers are female, 53 per cent male and one per cent identified as non-binary. 

Video games now rank second in Australian households when it comes to media entertainment, second only to video streaming. Gaming has now overtaken free-to-air TV during the pandemic.

Haughty Chicken is a grandma gamer breaking the stereotype and spreading awareness to be kind and be yourself. 

As she approaches her sixties, Haughty knows she’s not what the general population call a “stereotypical gamer”.

“Thinking that gaming is for children is a very outdated stereotype,” she told 9News.

“Gaming is for everyone”.

Haughty Chicken is her online alias, but it’s an alias that’s seen her amass thousands of followers across Twitter, YouTube and streaming platform Twitch where she plays video games to an audience most days of the week.

“A friend of mine was streaming on Twitch and I was watching them to give support and they suggested I try it. I was initially hesitant but when I realised there were not many streamers my age I thought, ‘why not?’,” she said.

“I wasn’t sure if anyone would pop by to say ‘hello’, but they did from that first stream and it has continued to grow since then.” 

Haughty said she’s been playing video games since she was a teenager, starting with Pong on her parents’ black and white TV. 

“Once I got a PC, I ventured into the world of simulation games (SimCity) and then multiplayer (MMORPGS),” she said.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in playing, even if the amount of time I played changed.”

Haughty said when she’s not streaming she leads a busy life in Melbourne.

A social worker by profession, she’s also studying for her PhD. 

“Despite being in a ‘public space’ when I stream, away from that I prefer quiet hobbies; I enjoy cooking, exploring markets and photography,” she said. 

Haughty is a big advocate for mental health and said gaming has been incredibly important for mental wellness, particularly in lockdown. 

“Not only has it given an opportunity for people to find entertainment when much of the world has been in lockdown or stay at home orders, but it provides stress relief, distraction and social connection,” she said.

“I think the streaming space in particular has given people an opportunity to connect when doing so physically is either not possible or not a healthy option at the moment.”

Research has found 75 per cent of Aussie gamers played video games with others during lockdown. 

, Meet the grandma gamer breaking the stereotype,
36 per cent of adults surveyed by Bond University say they’ve met new friends through playing video games. (YouTube/Haughty Chicken)

Haughty has a strong message for those who still say gaming is for children. 

“Those people might need to revisit their understanding of gaming – I love to tell people that 43 per cent of gamers are aged over 65 years. I think that challenges pretty much every stereotype there is,” she said.

“It’s important for people to realise that people play video games for a lot of reasons, just like many hobbies; for leisure, social and family connection, competition, education, and mental wellness.”

The research backs Haughty’s claims, 80 per cent of those surveyed stating gaming has improved their mental health. 

, Meet the grandma gamer breaking the stereotype,

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