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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Nov 13th, 2007 @ 7:55am

    I just can't wait...

    until my son is old enough to get gibbed by me. :P
    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.

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

  2. identicon
    Amethyst, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    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.

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

  3. identicon
    Born to lose over and over again, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:05am

    That was a nice story. I remember growing up when duck hunt and trivial pursuit both sucked.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:24am

    What about the 30% that do play, but only spend an hour or less doing so? What about that stat?

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:26am

    To my bad on #4

    My bad. I didn't read the rest of what Mike wrote.

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

  6. identicon
    Eliot, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:31am


    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.

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

  7. identicon
    Gunnar, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:36am

    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.

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

  8. icon
    chris (profile), Nov 13th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    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.

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

  9. icon
    mdmadph (profile), Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:01am

    Re: Video Games

    Aye, I happen to play WoW with my father-in-law -- I've noticed older players tend to like being warriors; anyone else noticed that? It's cool, though -- he gets to bash and chop with glee while my wife and I take care of the technical stuff (healing, DPS).

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

  10. identicon
    Duodave, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:08am

    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?

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

  11. identicon
    dazcon5, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:11am

    buy a Wii

    Now that we have a Wii...
    kids, parents, grandparents, GREAT grandparents all play together. Even my hard core gamer teenage nephews enjoy it.

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

  12. identicon
    Just Me, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:11am

    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.

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

  13. identicon
    whome, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:14am

    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.

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

  14. identicon
    Nicko, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:28am

    misinterpreting statistics

    Writers get away misinterpret statistics all the time... They've done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time it works every time.

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

  15. identicon
    Bob3000, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Kids are great..as gaming partners

    My 7 year old daughter and I play Shrek coop. We learn a lot about each other's 'limits'. She watched me play far Cry and would let me know when I'm being noticed and which weapon to use. Now she on WebKinz. Gotta real back in with something more 'togetherish'.

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

  16. identicon
    jon burg, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:06am

    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?

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

  17. identicon
    Just Bored, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:08am

    I don't care about stats...

    I played Atari and Sega as a kid. Now I love my Xbox 360 and so does my daughter. We play all the time, she is fun to play games with.

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

  18. identicon
    Matt, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:20am

    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.

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

  19. identicon
    Jeff, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:26am

    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!

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

  20. identicon
    Bill, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 11:14am

    we play

    I play video games with my kids and so does my wife. I grew up in the arcades and don't see myself quitting anytime soon. We have the Wii and the 360 and play bowling/golf on the Wii, Halo 3, Worms, etc on the 360. But we also play board games like Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride with our kids.

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

  21. identicon
    Jacob, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    I play Halo and Super Mario World (w00t super nintendo!!!) with my 4 yr old all the time, her favorite game right now is Mario Kart (again w00t Super Nintendo!!!). Though she's caught me playing ET:Quake Wars a few times and keeps asking if she can play too... me thinks she's a little young yet.

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

  22. identicon
    Adam, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    I play wow. Same with my father. Not fun when you face him in the arena, beat him, then proceed to have a 40 minute arguement why druids are not overpowered :P, yeah im the druid, he is mage :D.

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

  23. identicon
    Shane Crean, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Read and find out

    My name is Shane

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

  24. identicon
    Shane Crean, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Read and find out

    My name is Shane. I think that violent video games is a intense issue. I'm going to spell something wrong. Plent. i mean, Plant

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

  25. identicon
    Spencer Drake, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Shane Creans Comment

    My name is Spencer. I think that video games should be allowed and that you are crazy.

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

  26. identicon
    Chuck Norris Enemy, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:14am

    To Shane and Spencer

    You guys are crazy! haha, and funny. I wish i could be more like you! Gee!!

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

  27. identicon
    Shane + Spencer, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Re: To Shane and Spencer

    Is this ben?

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

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