Quality time means playing video games

Eighty per cent of parents say playing video games with their children is quality time, according to a study conducted by Goldsmiths University. Even grandparents said they play games with their tech-savvy grandchildren in an effort to get closer to them.

In the survey, co-sponsored by gaming company PopCap to discover parental attitudes to games, a third (32%) said they play computer games with their kids every day.

A fifth of the 3,000 parents in the survey (22%) said games are positive – having helped their children develop a better understanding of technology. Children as young as two years old are becoming proficient in using smart phones, largely because they are allowed to play the games on their parents’ or siblings’ phones. Twenty seven per cent of parents in the survey said they regularly allow their child or children to borrow their smart phone or tablet device to play 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.”

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