New Study Connects Family Gaming With Improved Social Skills

New Study Connects Family Gaming With Improved Social Skills

avatar kinect

Findings from Australia's Queensland University of Technology shows families that game together build stronger relationships and improve a young person's social, psychological and emotional well-being.

The traditional idea of "family night" involved mom, dad and kids either sitting around and playing a board game or watching a movie together. Well, new research from Australia shows that video games - long blamed for all manner of woes among the young'ins - may be just as well suited for some familial bonding.

Cooperative gaming in particular resulted in players who had better personal skills, according to the Queensland University of Technology. "Games that kids are playing require lots of strategy, require teamwork and while they're playing they're chatting about things going on in their life - so it's a social experience at the same time," said Daniel Johnson, director of the university's games research and interaction design lab. "But how you play is more important than how much or what you play - so if kids are playing with friends or family and playing cooperatively, then that's really going to help them build relationships," he continued.

Interestingly, Johnson's study also showed evidence that children who don't play games can actually be at a greater social disadvantage. Apparently, games have become such a pervasive part of popular culture that not knowing about them detracts from what Johnson calls "a balanced media diet."

So, next time mom or dad tells you to stop playing so many games, pass them a controller instead. Or, if you're a parent yourself, make your tyke your player two. It's for their own good.

Source: The Australian via GamePolitics.com

Permalink

I think just about anyone could have told you this though. Though I still don't plan to bring any hypothetical future children of mine online for a game of CoD. And I'll be keeping them very far away from TF2 where the Bronies might influence them.

One of the reasons I wish publishers would stop trying to eliminate offline LAN.

Well no shit. Socialising builds your social skills.
In all seriousness, if you're worried about your kids' gaming habits cutting into their socialisation time, why not just pick up a controller and play with them?

Shuu:
Well no shit. Socialising builds your social skills.
In all seriousness, if you're worried about your kids' gaming habits cutting into their socialisation time, why not just pick up a controller and play with them?

That's a good point which is a bit ironic because gamers rail against the family game but want people to love games more

Odd paradigm but the lesson is that any activity can become a bonding one, time and effort is needed though which I doubt a lot of parents have given our busy world

Is there any causality established? No? Just drawing inferences then stating facts like "Doing things cooperatively makes you like the other person", which has been a fact in social psychology for half a fucking century?

Well fuck off then.

Bloody pseudo-science.

Some of the best gaming times I've ever had were in face-to-face gaming sessions with family and friends. I wish that families would game together a lot more often.

So... social interactions with your family, like "family gaming" improves your social interactions with your family... HOOOOOLYYYYY SHIIIIIIIT! Next they're going to say that practicing a certain skill improves it, this science stuff, it's AMAZING!

Izanagi009:

Shuu:
snip

That's a good point which is a bit ironic because gamers rail against the family game but want people to love games more

Odd paradigm but the lesson is that any activity can become a bonding one, time and effort is needed though which I doubt a lot of parents have given our busy world

I don't think any gamer is against "family gaming", it's more a thing of being against the massive amount of shovelware some companies started to put out with the "casual gaming" spike the Wii created.

Well, I'd call this common sense...

And yet here we are.

Well, of course. Playing with my sister was one of the only times we got along (and with games, that make you more violent, angry and sociopathic! Whaaa?!). Unfortunately my mum hates games so she'll never touch them, and my dad wants to but he gets terrible motion sickness.

But I'll definitely aim to have family gaming nights when I have my own family.

Wow! Who knew all those co-op sessions I had with my own mother, playing games such as Nicktoons Unite!, Lego Star Wars 1 and 2, and Rayman Origins would pay off in increased social stats...

Wait... How is this new to me? It seems almost like a plausible hypothesis that doesn't really need further study to make sure said hypothesis is true or not... It's like one of those common sense theories that everybody knows before studies are even tested to prove it's correct and/or factual...

"Mum! Get ya fat ass down here and do some quality family gaming with me!"
hmm. I can live with that. even if i am too old to live with my mum again.

Im guessing theyre not talking about skyrim there though

Shuu:
Well no shit. Socialising builds your social skills.

Exactly what I was going to say. I think the trouble is that a lot of people still see games as some bizarre niche thing that has nothing to do with the real world. It's well known that, for example, eating meals as a family instead of all sitting in front of a different TV is much better for social development. Or more generally, simply that socialising does in fact build your social skills. It's just that many people don't count playing a game together as socialising in the first place. So I guess that studies like this maybe aren't so stupid as they might sound. If you can convince people that socialising is socialising no matter what activity it happens to be based around, gaming will become more accepted for what it actually is rather than the decades old stereotype it's often viewed as.

It's far easier to socialize through gaming than through any other artistic medium, because of the interactivity.

A family playing together on a Minecraft server can build a house together, defend each other from monsters, explore caves, etc.

All that that family can do with respect to television is talk about a tv show.

A real problem is that throughout the entire life of the industry, games have been viewed as "for kids", so parents have been hesitant to play games. So the parents watched TV while the kids played their games.

One of the hopefully great outcomes of gaming becoming so mainstream is that it will encourage parents to game and thereby increase social interactions with their children.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here