Lots Of Parents Playing Video Games With Kids… Though, That's Not What The Headlines Say

from the details,-people,-details dept

In the last few years, we’ve seen a number of studies suggesting that, while most people think of video games as something kids play, that it’s increasingly becoming a family activity involving parents (and even grandparents) playing video games with their kids. This seemed like a good thing. A common activity over which families can bond seems positive. That’s why it was a bit surprising to see a bunch of headlines trumpeting the news that “Many Parents Avoid Video Games With Kids.” So when you get down into the article, you see that the headline is seriously misleading. What the report actually says is 43% of parents with kids who play video games never play with them. That would mean that 57% do play video games with their kids, which seems like quite a large number, especially compared to earlier reports. Yet, that apparently doesn’t support the story line that the headline writer wanted to tell. While it is true that another 30% say they spend less than an hour a week playing video games with kids, that is still some bonding time, and shows that many, many parents are quite aware of what kinds of video games their kids are playing — meaning that perhaps politicians can stop claiming they need to act as parents when it comes to video games.

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Comments on “Lots Of Parents Playing Video Games With Kids… Though, That's Not What The Headlines Say”

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Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

I just can't wait...

until my son is old enough to get gibbed by me. 😛
I could see the change coming, though. My parents didn’t grow up with video games and it wasn’t much fun for them to get hammered at Duck Hunt by their punk kids. Newer parents have played/still play video games and have the skills to compete with their kids. Families used to play board games together, why not video games? If we got too prideful with our Duck Hunt triumphs Dad would pull out Trivial Pursuit and put us in our place.

Amethyst says:

Video Games

I play WoW and there are a lot of people on my server who play with their kids. They are usually in different guilds because the adult guilds tend to be less accepting of teenagers. I also know people who play with their very young kids sitting on their lap because you can hear the kid on Ventrillo. But I think it’s cool, my parents never would have played video games with me to bond. I hope I can do that with my kids someday.

Eliot says:


This is funny … but not surprising. My mom can’t stand video games, except Wii sports.

Since we’re having story time: When I was sick and stuck at home under 24 hour watch my mom would try and bond … and it was sweet at first, then after a month, it got old. So I started trying to engage her in ‘my activities’ and would get out the Gamecube. She’d be asleep in under 10 minutes.

Gunnar says:

It came across the AP wire with the headline “Many parents just say no when it comes to playing video games with their children.”

And what the poll says (I haven’t read the story) is that there’s a pretty clear age line between parents who play with kids and parents who don’t.

That isn’t surprising. My dad played Risk, Stratego and Hearts with me and took me target shooting. The only video games we ever played together were Risk and Duck Hunt.

chris (profile) says:

mario party FTW

it’s a family christmas tradition to get the latest “mario party”. we have been doing this since mario party 4. this year we got the wii in the summer, and mario party 8 along with it… so for christmas the familiy is getting “big brain acadmy: wii degree”.

when my youngest (age 7 now) first started playing, we set a handicap for her. now she plays without a handicap and soon i fear i will need the handicap.

Duodave (user link) says:

Big surprise?

Many of my friends who have both kids and video games play them with their kids. Whether it’s an MMO game where the parent and kids have their own logins, or its their set-top box.

I also find it interesting that as casual games enjoy a resurgance in popularity, so does this trend for parents to game with their kids. Perhaps there’s a relationship between games that kids and parents would both enjoy?

Just Me says:

Story Time

Loving all the stories people are posting. Oddly interesting…
One of the main reasons my wife and I got together was because we are both gamers. When we first started dating we were doing the long distance thing so we’d get on public lobbies and play C&C Red Alert for hours just so we could chat.

We don’t have any kids yet (tho I’m losing that battle methinks) but when the time comes I’m certain we’ll be right there along side them playing Halo 17 and Virtual Reality Duck Hunt.

whome says:

Vidoe Family!

I am the senior wow player in my family and at 50 am the one who introduced the rest of the family to the game. Now my son, daughter and son-in-law all play. As to the “older folk playing warriors” uhm… dunno about that… I have 70 Warrior alt but my main is a level 70 raiding Hunter. I also have a 70 Rogue so that’s 2 to 1 dps over tank.

jon burg (profile) says:

old news is news to people who close thier eyes

If we were to look at industry trends on a micro level within our own lives, many of these “news” items wouldn’t be news.

Virtually everyone in my neighborhood as a kid played Atari and Nintendo with their parents. My grandmother played Atari with us when we were very young – The Sesame Street games only.

Intergenerational sociology is nothing new. So why is this news in gaming or other digital channels?

Matt says:

Nintendo Might Change Things....A Little...

I HAVE noticed that with the wii out, parents seem more likely to game. At least with my parents, they wouldn’t TOUCH a game controller other than hand held poker, Now with the WII they have a TON of fun bowling, and Golfing. I actually got my mom to Box with me. I think for the older generation that grew up with nintendo, It is something familier, yet brand new. They like to do things with their hands, and to hit a tennis ball, is pretty cool. We just bought Guitar Hero and my dad thinks its the coolest thing in the world. And he’s almost 50 yrs old.

Jeff says:

We've been playing as a family a long time

We’ve been playing computer games as a family for years. We’ve played Boggle, but really got into Warcraft, then Asheron’s Call, and now WoW. When my son was about 12, we were playing Warcraft and one day I attacked him in the game. I thought I was just playing around, but he was devastated and left the room in tears. I learned in that incident of the incredible power to build relationships that playing together can bring and how they can be damaged by not understanding how significant that play time can be on those relationships. Every Christmas vacation, we dust off our Puzzle Pirate accounts with my dad (age 71) and we have 3 generations playing together. What fun!

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