4 Reasons You Should Game With Your Kid
The Entertainment Software Association’s 2015 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report revealed that 59 percent of parents with gamer children join the fun at least once a week. Do you play Wizard101 and other online games or video games with your kids? Here are four reasons you should.
- Children talk while they game
Many parents feel that as their kids get older, they know less and less about their lives. As they sit side by side playing games for kids online, parents share quality time with their children. This makes it easier to get kids to open up about everything from their interests and aspirations to problems at school and within their social circles.
Gaming is also a great bonding experience in and of itself, pointed out author and game designer Jane McGonigal.
“Every time you play a video game with someone in the same room, your breathing rates will start to sync up, your heart rates will start beating at the same pulse and your facial expressions and body language will mirror each other,” explained McGonigal, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. “It means your brains are working in exactly the same way.”
- Parents can size up their kids’ gaming buddies and weigh in on conflict
Kids love to find online games to play with friends, and when parents are involved in this aspect of their children’s lives, they get the chance to see who their kids are interacting with. Just like in the real world, strife can erupt between peers while gaming, but blowing the whistle isn’t always as easy as it is on the playground.
“There’s conflict sometimes, but no adults,” wrote Forbes contributor Jordan Shapiro. “That means there’s no one to help the kids turn these healthy experiences of everyday conflict into positive learning experiences.”
It stands to reason that children with gamer parents will likely be more willing to bring problems to their parents’ attention—and maybe even ask for advice on how to handle issues that crop up while they play online games with friends.
- Teaching opportunities emerge for both sides
Gamer parents can help their kids navigate in-game social issues, figure out how to complete a particularly tricky level and assist in defeating a formidable boss in battle, but there are also numerous opportunities for children to take the lead.
“It’s nice for the child to be able to teach his or her parents about gaming,” said Sinem Siyahhan, an assistant research professor at the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, as quoted by Forbes. “Our research is finding that sharing this experience cultivates family bonding, learning and well-being.”
- Gaming is fun!
Whether families play online games for free, purchase/rent video games or sign up for paid subscriptions, gaming is, quite simply, fun. According to the ESA report, 85 percent of parents game with their kids because it’s a fun pursuit for the whole family. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of parents admitted they enjoy playing video games as much as their kids do.
Do you play games with your kids? Share your family gaming stories in the comments below!