Digital Gaming: A Comparative International Study of Youth Culture in a Peaceful and War Zone Country


  • Lyn Henderson James Cook University
  • Yoram Eshet-Alkalai Open University of Israel
  • Joel Klemes Open University of Israel



This paper reports an exploratory survey in Australia and Israel of the leisure habits, attitudes and preferences of 716 teenagers aged 13-14 years who are part of the international digital games culture. The rationale was threefold: (a) this age group is not singled out in other surveys; (b) examination of gaming across five platforms would contribute new insights; and (c) the premise that a comparison between eGamers in a war zone and a peaceful country would produce striking contrasts. Virtually all participants played digital games for an average of 10-12 hours per week, the majority using all gaming platforms daily. Notable country differences were identified, particularly game genre preferences but there was also commonality as digital gamers. Digital games remain “boys’ games”, with males devoting more time to playing across five game platforms than did the females who, however, demonstrated a narrowing gap. Isolation and unfitness due to digital gaming proved contrary to popular media reports even though playing digital games was one of two top-rated leisure activities across country and gender.

Author Biographies

Lyn Henderson, James Cook University

A/Professor; Coordinator EdD and JCUS.  Teach and research in areas concerned with ICTs in education; thinking skills and strategies using digital games; cross country/gender comparison young teenage eGamer profiles. International research in USA, Israel, Australia, and UK.

Yoram Eshet-Alkalai, Open University of Israel

Professor; Coordinator M.Ed Educational Technology; Head, Chais Research Centre for Integration Technology in Education. Previously Head, Instructional Design program Tel Hai Academic College. 15 years experience designing and developing technology-based instructional solutions in Israel and USA.

Joel Klemes, Open University of Israel

Senior Lecturer in cell biology and Chair, Department of Natural Sciences. Previously, Head of Multimedia and Instructional Software Development Unit, Centre for IT in Distance Education. Over 10 years involvement in production educational software in biology for schools in USA and the University. Research: cell biology, educational technologies, science teaching, CAI for students with learning disabilities.




How to Cite

Henderson, L., Eshet-Alkalai, Y. and Klemes, J. (2008) “Digital Gaming: A Comparative International Study of Youth Culture in a Peaceful and War Zone Country”, Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2(1), pp. 73–103. doi: 10.7557/23.5973.