Casual games firm PopCap has completed what it says is the largest-ever worldwide survey of casual computer game players – with the results revealing, amongst other things, that 70 per cent of ‘family gamers’ say casual games provide educational benefits to their children.
A number of benefits were cited by those interviewed, which is, the company says "in stark contrast to traditional perceptions of computer gaming" (and not just the announcement of ‘casual games firm’s research says casual games are great’, they assure us).
Specifically, 68 per cent of participants cited hand-eye coordination/manual dexterity as a benefit; 60 per cent cited learning (pattern recognition, resource allocation, spelling, etc.), while just over half cited mental workouts/cognitive exercise. Elsewhere, 48 per cent cited memory strengthening, while 44 per cent cited stress relief/relaxation and 37% per cent cited positive affirmation/confidence building.
Professor Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK commented: "Empirical research has consistently shown that in the right context, computer- and videogames can have a positive educational, psychological and therapeutic benefit to a large range of different ages and sub-groups.”