Digital games provide meaningful experiences

English version of the report The Impact of Digital Games, first published in Danish October 2023.

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Are digital games a waste of time or do they provide meaningful experiences on par with film, literature and music? Until now, no one in Denmark has really explored the nuances of this question.

With this report, for the first time, we put both numbers and words to what digital games mean to Danes. The goal of the study is to contribute to a knowledge-based foundation for discussing what digital games mean to Danish citizens. 

Digital games are a significant part of our lives. Over the past 20 years, the number of people playing digital games has grown significantly. Today, more than half of the world’s population plays digital games. In Denmark, the number has not only kept pace with the world, but exceeds the global level. Playing digital games is no longer a niche activity that takes place in dark basements or children’s bedrooms. Gaming is everywhere. And our survey shows that 4 out of 5 Danes play digital games. 

The game industry has also developed into an important growth industry for Denmark. Danish gaming companies are behind some of the most successful games in the world – both commercially and artistically. The gaming industry also creates attractive jobs, drives exports, and promotes technological innovation.

Games are both a media form and a cultural product. They tell the stories in and about our society. Games can be equal parts pastime and formative experiences. At a national level, it is therefore important to understand games as both a cultural form and a leisure activity. We need the conversation about games to be nuanced in order to have a considered and reflective approach to the role games play in our society and in the everyday lives of Danes.

The question of what games mean has not been adequately researched in the past. Previous studies have often been characterised by a focus on children’s game consumption or screen time, rather than on what the experiences mean for citizens in a broader sense. This report will address that question.

The goal of the study is to shed light on what games mean to Danes and what cultural product games are in order to contribute to a more informed conversation on the topic. Hopefully, the analysis will both shed light on the experience of gaming and break down some of the prejudices about it.

The study was commissioned by the Danish Producers’ Association and conducted by Seismonaut. Our study is based on The Experience Impact CompassTM. The compass allows us to capture the nuances of how experiences matter to people. The analysis is based on both a representative survey of Danes and in-depth focus groups with selected citizens who play different genres of games. The result is a report that puts into words and numbers 
the experiences Danes have with gaming and what these experiences mean to them.

Enjoy the reading!

Opdateret 8. feb 2024

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