by Mike Masnick

Video Games Becoming A Family Bonding Experience Now That 80s Gamers Are Growing Up

from the not-such-a-bad-thing dept

With the somewhat pointless backlash against videogamers over the last few years, it's nice to see one new report claiming that gaming is increasingly a family activity, involving both parents and kids. The study is sponsored by a video game company, so there's always the potential for bias here, but it's also not the first such study we've seen. It seems that as video gamers from the 80s have become the adults of today they're still gaming, and they're not as freaked out about video games as the older generation is. A spokesperson for a "family group" who constantly warns about the evils of video games has already blasted the study, claiming that since it was done online, it wasn't representative. Those folks online are much more likely to be gamers, and therefore can't be trusted.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    COD, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:46pm

    I stopped gaming with my son. Not because I've turned anti-game though. I got tired of losing!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    anonymous coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:16pm

    Kind of sad to see playing catch with Dad in the backyard become playing GTA with dad in the family room.

    Dad and kids probably would all benefit from a little exercise and fresh air.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Glue548, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:17pm

    I think the Nintendo Wii will do a great job of re-including gamers

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:20pm

    My three boys know the rules in my house, before they ask if they can play Playstaion, they look outside- if it is sunny they don't even bother to ask. Instead we go outside for a bike ride, game of cricket or kick a ball around. If it is a miserable rainy day then we might play video games together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:23pm

    Do this study in one year

    I'd like to see this study done once all the "next-gen" consoles have become more common place (in particular, the Wii).
    Based on my experiences so far, the Wii will greatly imcrease family and multi-player gaming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Target Employee, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 4:37pm

    More than you think.

    Working in the electronics section at Target, I hear many mothers talking (amongst themselves, not at employee prompting) about how much fun the Wii is to play with their kids. Even the older generation (the pre-80s folks). It usually starts when they walk by the display and one of them will ask the other what it is.

    The other then explains that its this new nintendo thing that they got for the kids, and that its actually really fun. They usually seem to really like "that tennis/bowling/golf" game (Wii Sports). It seems like its already becoming a family activity even with those way older than the 80s gamers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    XCetron, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 5:07pm

    Families with more than 1 or 2 computers at home should all sit down and have a fun match of Age of Empires or Starcraft or something. Those games are fun.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mantis108, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 5:08pm


    I just read this after walking away from a game of Ultimate Alliance on XBOX360 with my 5 and 3 year old children.. this is so spot on. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jeff, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 5:09pm

    What kids?

    What gamer has time to meet women much less copulate and raise children?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    rijit (profile), Dec 7th, 2006 @ 6:19pm

    Gaming is Family Fun

    Love playing with the kids, just wish the six year old would quit getting better. Pretty soon I will have no one left to win against, my older one passed my skill level a couple of years ago. All this time I thought I was keeping up, till one night the older one got mad and showed me how easy he had been taking it on dad... he is quite good.

    Games have been a family experience in my family since the 80's. Video Games have always been in my life and I hope they always are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    mceep, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 8:32pm


    going outside is definately preferable for kids, if you live in a safe place. I'm in las vegas, and I do the best i can, but's it's not exactly the best place to outside and play around here. I'm hoping someday I can give my daughter the kind of place I had when I grew up, but as the house we lived in when I was a kid now goes for nearly 4 to 500,000 due to higher real estate prices, i doubt it's gonna happen.

    It's safer to stay inside and play video games than to go outside and worry about the damn drug dealers and crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 9:52am

    I think the good news here is that the parents and childrens interests can align. Videogames might unite these new generations--for some of us at least--far more than tossing a football outside united me and my father.

    One big problem with the shape of our culture right now is that children have their own world separate from adults and marketers have an interest in making it as distinct as possible so they can fuel the fire and rake in the dough. This creates disconnects between the generations and causes a lack of empathy and understanding. Some of this is to be expected due simply to such rapid change in the world and the different degrees of flexibility with which adults and children can respond..though more of course than in the past. This doesn't help matters any.

    Used to be, (long long ago) children were just adults in training and the experiences that children went through were practically identical to what the parents went through when they were children. Of course, the changes in perspective due to adulthood muddle that empathy somewhat but there is still the potential. Nowadays new generations of youth are practically aliens compared to the parents (in many but not all cases).

    So I am a fan of any element of culture that can be shared between adults and children... not only so that children can learn more easily from their parents but so that parents can learn more easily from their children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Thank You Kindly, Dec 9th, 2006 @ 4:29pm

    Clinton in the Middle East

    “We may be at a unique historical moment in the Middle East,” Clinton told a crowd of 5,100 gathered at the Gantcher Center, who often punctuated her address with bursts of applause. That last line is much too long for the poetry,' she added, almost out loud, forgetting that Humpty Dumpty would hear her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    OldCoot, Dec 10th, 2006 @ 10:22pm

    family gaming

    My 16 year old son asked for Battlefield 2 for his birthday. After he got it, he hounded me to get it too so we could play online together. We both love playing it, either on the same side helping one another or on opposite sides against each other.
    It's the source of a lot of laughter and fun.
    I'm 52 and started gaming with an Intellivision in the '80s.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Spiny, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 1:41am


    Heh, this was one of the first articles I've read this morning. Had a really fun co-op session of Lego Star Wars with my 8yo daugther on the xbox yesterday :)

    Viva la 80s!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Love, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 1:55pm

    couldn't be a danger?

    but did you ever think that this could be a danger to let your children play video games without looking on ratings. Did you know that this could be dangerous and could become violence?

    Parents should still watch their young children does, because you'll never know they could become one of those person that are lack of confidence, lower grades in school, less reading for them, aggressive thoughts and behaviors, and over weight because they are not exposed outside instead they are just seating and young children will not learn anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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