The Family That Games Together Stays Together
Pssst, want to know the secret to a happy family life?
Intergenerational game play.
Research conducted by the Arizona State University has linked intergenerational game play with family bonding, learning and well-being.
Arizona State University’s Elisabeth Hayes, and Sinem Siyahhan, assistant research professor in Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, began studying intergenerational play using commercial, off-the-shelf video games in 2013.
The researchers have been developing live events and a website devoted to encouraging parents to game-along with their kids. They say that gaming can provide a multitude of opportunities for parents to not only connect with their kids, but also to learn along with them.
Elizabeth Hayes says, “Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids. Often parents don’t understand that many video games are meant to be shared and can teach young people about science, literacy and problem solving. Gaming with their children also offers parents countless ways to insert their own ‘teaching moment’.”
Fellow researcher Sinem Siyahhan highlights the way that negative publicity around ‘first-person shooter’ games may have put-off many parents view about gaming altogether. She argues that gaming together can often be a great way to build bridges between parents and kids, especially at the tween ages.
Forbes education tech writer, Jordan Shapiro, agrees. He’s only recently become a ‘gamer’ alongside his six and eight-year-old sons. He says, in one of the numerous articles he’s written for Forbes about family gaming, “I discovered a world of interactive learning, systems thinking, adaptive feedback, and the possibility that game-based learning might alter the way we think about what it means to learn. Since then, I’ve become a gaming convert.”
Do you play video games with your kids?