Study claims computer games bring families together

Some gaming time can help parents bond with their offspring

August 22, 2011

Computer games have been getting knocked in the press recently, getting blamed for Norwegian massacres (Call of Duty) or English oik uprisings (GTA) depending on which rag you read.

So it is interesting to hear how games can actually help bring families together rather than just turn us all into weapon-wielding maniacs. Or so PopCap games would have us believe anyway.

The study, undertaken in conjunction with Goldsmith’s University, has shown that games can actually help bring about something approaching familial harmony.

A third of parents were found to play computer games with their kids every day. Of these 80 percent described this as ‘quality time’, with one in three reporting greater bonding with their children as a result.

Meanwhile, only around one in five parents claimed that playing video games, particularly the casual games made by PopCap, helped children to better understand technology.

According to the study around 3.8 million parents play casual games with their children, with many grandparents also using it is as a tool to interact with their grandchildren.

“These findings are important because they highlight the social benefits of playing videogames,” Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic at Goldsmith’s said. “Previous research has tended to look only at the individual effects of video games, but in the era of social networking games appear to play a vital role in enhancing social relationships.”

“The fact that both parents and grandparents are using games to connect with their children and grandchildren, and quite successfully, suggests that video games can improve social skills and make a key contribution to both effective parenting and child development.”


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