Results of an academic study released today reveal the positive impact that playing video games has on bonding between parents and children who play together.
Of the parents that took part in the study, a third (32 per cent) play computer games with their children every day. 80 per cent described this as quality time and one in three reported greater bonding with their children as a result of playing these games.
One in five parents (22 per cent) said that playing computer games has helped their children develop a better understanding of technology.
The research, conducted by PopCap Games, in partnership with Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic of Goldsmiths University, specifically looked at the role of ‘casual games’ – simple puzzle or strategy games, such as Plants vs. Zombies™, Angry Birds or Bejeweled ® – in helping parents and grandparents bond with their children and grandchildren. The study revealed that 3.8 million* parents play casual games with their children and that many grandparents are using casual games as a way to get closer to their tech-savvy grandchildren.
Debunking the myth that video gameplay comes at the cost of ‘healthier’ pursuits, three quarters of parents state that their computer game-playing children also exercise regularly and eat healthily. A third of parents believe that their children are able to concentrate better thanks to playing casual games, while 53 per cent believe that their children have improved problem solving skills thanks to playing casual games.
The study also shows that the growth in casual games has resulted in children as young as two becoming proficient in the use of smartphones and other tablet devices, and over a quarter of parents (27 per cent) reported that their children borrowed their smartphone every day to play casual games.
Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths said: "These findings are important because they highlight the social benefits of playing videogames. 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."
Cathy Orr, Senior Director of International PR, PopCap said: “As technology becomes even more consumer-friendly, we at PopCap are delighted to see videogames playing an increasing role within family leisure time. Videogames are becoming as popular a mainstream lifestyle entertainment as movies or music and finding a place in family life alongside traditional parlour or board games – or in many cases, providing a new videogame format for family favourite board games. PopCap has conducted a lot of research to prove that casual games are not only extremely fun but can also aid stress relief - undoubtedly a positive for family members across the board!”
PopCap Games International
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Notes to editors
Research was conducted by PopCap and Goldsmiths University amongst 3,250 parents and grandparents with children/grandchildren under 16
*Figures based number of parents with dependent children from 2001 ONS census
PopCap Games is the leading global developer, publisher and operator of casual video games: fun, easy-to-learn, captivating games that appeal to all ages across PC, mobile, social and other platforms. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of more than 400 people in Seattle, San Francisco, B.C., Dublin, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. PopCap's games have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship franchise, Bejeweled®, has sold more than 50 million units.
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