Smart parents use smartphones to help their kids

Smart parents use smartphones to help their kids

  • By: Heather Savage
  • Posted 19th Aug 2011

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.

Mobile App and Game Developer PopCap Games recently undertook a study in partnership with Goldsmiths University that reveals video games can increase bonding within the family unit. According to the study, four in five parents describe playing video games with their children as "quality time" and, of the parents that took part in the study, a third (32%) said that they play computer games with their children every day.

One in five parents (22%) said that playing computer games has helped their children develop a better understanding of technology, while 80% described their game play as quality time; one in three reported greater bonding with their children as a result of playing these games.

The research was conducted by PopCap and Goldsmiths University among a pool of 3,250 parents and grandparents with children or grandchildren under age 16.

Casual Game Play

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 game play 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%) reported that their children borrowed their smartphone every day to play casual games.