Research Suggests Family Gaming on the Rise

Research Suggests Family Gaming on the Rise

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 9th May 2011


The results of a recent survey of players of the online game Wizard101 by Trinity University suggests that Intergenerational play (family members from different generations playing online games together) is an important and emerging dimension within online games today.

The report issued by the Trinity researchers shows that many families (children, parents and grandparents) are not only playing games together online, but they report being brought closer together by playing them. Parents report their children learn valuable academic and social skills from playing, while players of all ages report learning more about family members when playing together.

The research was conducted with the assistance of KingsIsle Entertainment, publisher of Wizard101, through an anonymous survey taken by more than 30,000 Wizard101 player volunteers in March of 2010. Communication researchers from Trinity University interpreted the findings from the survey, which focused upon intergenerational play within the online game Wizard101, and asked questions regarding online play habits and opinions related to families playing the game together.

In addition to the findings noted above, the survey revealed that players report building on the foundational narrative of Wizard101 to imagine their own stories and create works of art, with many creative communities emerging from the game.

Describing the survey and research as "one of the largest studies of online game players conducted to date," Dr. Aaron Delwiche, Associate Professor of Communication at Trinity University, said "We were particularly impressed by the willingness of players to elaborate their opinions in answers to open-ended questions."

"This study demonstrates clearly that the stereotype of the dysfunctional, male teen gamer no longer holds," say the researcher, adding that "At any time during the game, your teammate could be a kid, a neighbor, or a grandparent."