Survey Suggests Parents Now See Games as Positive For Kids

Survey Suggests Parents Now See Games as Positive For Kids

According to an ESA report, 56 percent of parents now believe video games are a positive part of their children's lives.

Kids love video games. Parents hate video games. Politicians play into video game- based paranoia to score easy points with their aging, confused constituents. Such has it been since the earliest days of the game industry. Times, it would seem however, are a-changing, as new statistics are pointing toward a majority of parents now seeing video games as a potential positive in their children's lives.

Said statistic originated from the Entertainment Software Association's 2014 edition of its Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry. According to this year's report, some 56 percent of American parents now look at video games as a positive activity for their kids. This was accompanied by several other figures pointing toward even more good feelings for games.

For instance, 68 percent of surveyed families also believed that video games can provide educational stimulation to the player. Likewise, the report saw an uptick in parents playing games with their kids and families playing games together as a group activity.

"Parents across America recognize the widespread benefits of video games, including education, mental stimulation, and the bonding opportunities they create for families," said ESA president Michael D. Gallagher. "Video games are a favorite pastime enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and millions worldwide who share their game play experiences with friends and family."

The ESA's figures also suggested that parents are finally catching onto the whole idea of game ratings. Out of the parents questioned, some 95 percent said they now monitor their children's gaming activities with 91 percent suggesting they are present during game purchases.

According to Gallagher, these changes are representative of the industry's "unparalleled commitment to helping parents make informed entertainment choices" for their families. While that may be true, we can't help but wonder if the gradual aging of gamers themselves might also have something to do with it. A lot of us are getting older, after all, and who's going to be better informed about what games to buy (or not buy) children than experienced gamers themselves?

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Lol, what is this?

Understanding, rational thought and acceptance?

Not in this bloody world, mate!

If I were to believe these results, then that would mean that the industry really is getting somewhere!

Sans cinicism, this is nice to know. God knows that it doesn't take much to see the good games can offer, all it takes is responsibility and an attention investment and games are no longer "murder simulators".

What a God damn miracle.

Now just wait until the next tragedy to strike and we'll see how fast they pin the blame on games again.

StewShearer:
According to Gallagher, these changes are representative of the industry's "unparalleled commitment to helping parents make informed entertainment choices" for their families. While that may be true, we can't help but wonder if the gradual aging of gamers themselves might also have something to do with it. A lot of us are getting older, after all, and who's going to be better informed about what games to buy (or not buy) children than experienced gamers themselves?

There are certainly parents that gaming has effectively "won over", but I agree that the numbers growing (and will continue to grow) simply because angry old people die off, and the new generation takes over.

Good to hear, no doubt video games will become increasingly accepted as more parents were raised with them. My folks are around 50 but very anti-gaming, I've tried helping them overcome this but no luck, they just don't see the point in gaming. At-least they don't bug me about it much any-more.

It's probably because the generations that grew up playing videogames are old enough to make up a noticeable amount of the "parents" demographic now rather than a shift in thinking or information from the existing demographic. If you were born the same year super mario bros came out, you'll be in your 30s soon.

The tide turns. Soon we will control the world.

Thankfully it's never been a problem for me but I've overheard plenty of conversations and had to hold my tongue so many times when dealing customers. There are so many misconceptions that cannot be dispelled without the person going into dismissive, opinionated rage mode.

Is it possible to eliminate every prejudice one by one? Here's to hoping it can be done.

JoJo:
Good to hear, no doubt video games will become increasingly accepted as more parents were raised with them. My folks are around 50 but very anti-gaming, I've tried helping them overcome this but no luck, they just don't see the point in gaming. At-least they don't bug me about it much any-more.

My parents are around the same age, and my mom in particular is just never going to accept that games aren't just for little kids and something to be grown out of.

But then, she's post menopausal. Looks like this is one cultural change that's not so much about waiting for the older generation to die off as it is waiting for them to age out of the breeding pool.

Semi-off topic, but the stock image of the kid with the joystick is golden. That would have been a pretty accurate image when I was that kid's age, but who (aside from nostalgic weirdos like me) still even has a flight stick these days?

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Kilrathi to fry.

What really surprises me is that something like 40% of parents with children who are gamers play games with their kids on a weekly basis. That...sounds really nice. I wish my parents would have done that, instead of interrupting my gaming every 5 minutes to make some snarky comment about how I was wasting my life away.

well not all games can teach stuff to children, i doubt anybody can learn something from CoD except maybe new and colorful racial slurs

but something like Civ 5 or kerbal space program is sure to metally estimulate people, they arent educational games, but do nurture interest in history and space exploration, among other things

I'd say it's almost definitely a case of gamers breeding more than anything else. One thing that separates games as a medium as opposed to, say for example, music is that there is less chance of a generational gap in gamers. Nostalgia does grab hold of us like in any other medium, but where music fans may reach a point where they just stop listening to new music altogther, gamers tend to pay more attention to what's new and popular(though some people stick to more niche genres).

*shrug*

Study done by the ESA. They're a lobby group for the video game industry. The study is probably as biased as the studies that come out and find links between violent video games and aggressive behaviour, if not more so.

I was slightly hoping for the "Well, it shuts them up long enough..." statement in all this, but I'm slightly and pleasantly surprised that didn't happen. Then again, are they buying the latest fad games or MMOs, or actual "family entertainment" things?

Caiphus:
*shrug*

Study done by the ESA. They're a lobby group for the video game industry. The study is probably as biased as the studies that come out and find links between violent video games and aggressive behaviour, if not more so.

Maybe, But the children of the baby boom generation are now getting closer to 30 then 20 and those in between have grown up with it a bit more. I mean one of the reasons the crime rate in New York dropped so much in the 80's was simply that the population got older. My point is that age makes a difference and I could as someone in my 20's who's friends are all getting married and my older friends are all having kids, I could completely see this as logical.

Even my mother, who when I was young was quite strict is now a lot more open to tech and thus a bit more open to games in general. Of course there are still lines, but even if the study is completely made up, it sounds like a pretty logical conclusion.

With the older generations dying out or becoming just plain irrelevant we'll see these numbers continue to grow. My parents still don't understand but lots of younger couples I know are totally for them. In moderation, of course. Kind of wish my parents had been more strict during my prime gaming days, probably wouldn't have packed on so much weight :P

Caiphus:
*shrug*

Study done by the ESA. They're a lobby group for the video game industry. The study is probably as biased as the studies that come out and find links between violent video games and aggressive behaviour, if not more so.

But it says what we want to hear, so rather than considering the viability of the source....

Akichi Daikashima:

Understanding, rational thought and acceptance?

I mean, I guess it's nice and all, but hardly surprising that they would come up with a positive light.

Kameburger:

Maybe, But the children of the baby boom generation are now getting closer to 30 then 20 and those in between have grown up with it a bit more. I mean one of the reasons the crime rate in New York dropped so much in the 80's was simply that the population got older. My point is that age makes a difference and I could as someone in my 20's who's friends are all getting married and my older friends are all having kids, I could completely see this as logical.

Even my mother, who when I was young was quite strict is now a lot more open to tech and thus a bit more open to games in general. Of course there are still lines, but even if the study is completely made up, it sounds like a pretty logical conclusion.

Sure. It sounds like a logical conclusion to us, because we're biased. Just like the ESA, whose job it is to paint the gaming industry in as good a light as possible. The conclusion that violent video games make children violent is exactly the same sort of logical conclusion that people biased in the opposite direction would make.

Parents being more likely to be comfortable around video games still doesn't mean 56% of them are. Or, indeed, that 56% of them see video games as positive for their child's development. I don't trust the ESA's figures, is my point. And comparing the comments section in this article (marginally surprised acceptance) with the comments section in a violent video games study (angry disagreement) shows what confirmation bias looks like.

teqrevisited:
The tide turns. Soon we will control the world.

Thankfully it's never been a problem for me but I've overheard plenty of conversations and had to hold my tongue so many times when dealing customers. There are so many misconceptions that cannot be dispelled without the person going into dismissive, opinionated rage mode.

Is it possible to eliminate every prejudice one by one? Here's to hoping it can be done.

One of us...One of us...LOL Jk But seriously, this is good news. This means this industry is actually getting somewhere! Also, I certainly hope so.

TiberiusEsuriens:

StewShearer:
According to Gallagher, these changes are representative of the industry's "unparalleled commitment to helping parents make informed entertainment choices" for their families. While that may be true, we can't help but wonder if the gradual aging of gamers themselves might also have something to do with it. A lot of us are getting older, after all, and who's going to be better informed about what games to buy (or not buy) children than experienced gamers themselves?

There are certainly parents that gaming has effectively "won over", but I agree that the numbers growing (and will continue to grow) simply because angry old people die off, and the new generation takes over.

And eventually you and I will by the angry old people talking about "These new visual cortext sims are making the kids into violent killers!"
Then we will die and the young people will be like, "Remember when they tried to outlaw visual cortext sims? Man, how times have changed"

Video games are harmful to our children while every citizen has the right to own a gun.

This is a nice change of pace. No offense to the previous generations, but I can't wait until they start dying out or become too old to actually have a say in anything. When people who actually know how to use a computer enter politics I can almost guarantee things will be done more quickly and stupid/uninformed decisions might actually have a little weight behind them. Once these people enter office it will become extremely clear that video games do not cause violence - neglectful and awful parents do.

...I blame ABCMouse.com... It's clearly a flash gaming site disguised as an educational website...

OT: Ha HA! Take that, false propaganda!! But seriously, this is awesome! Progressing from the nagative to a more positive outlook does do wonders for the future generations to come in our later lifetimes...

Now, to wait to see more AAA games claiming to be that "educational alternative" to learning something productive for the "kids out there"...

Well, I am a father and I play video games. Come to think of it, my father played video games with me. The result was I got a PhD in physics. I don't know that this had anything to do with video games, but it likely helped that my dad would hang out with me. At any rate, I wonder what the next boogie man will be.

i am 24. the average age that people get their first child here is the age of 23. by all accounts, people like me who grew up with games are now seeing the positives sides of it while being parents.
on the other hand 44% still doesnt.

Jesus, people born after i became a gamer are capable of having children now. jesus i feel old.

Caiphus:
*shrug*

Study done by the ESA. They're a lobby group for the video game industry. The study is probably as biased as the studies that come out and find links between violent video games and aggressive behaviour, if not more so.

they are a biased source, granted, but from whats available they are the largest scale operation that is at least reasonably transparent enough to not be thrown out like most "Studies" escapist report on. they are not perfect, but its the best we got.

Just wait for the next serial killer having Mortal Kombat on the PS Vita being found in their house.

This is good, but it won't last, and with it problems arise anyway.

JoJo:
Good to hear, no doubt video games will become increasingly accepted as more parents were raised with them. My folks are around 50 but very anti-gaming, I've tried helping them overcome this but no luck, they just don't see the point in gaming. At-least they don't bug me about it much any-more.

My parents are around the same age; my father just turned 56 and my mother will be 57 in a few months. Neither of them have any problems with my gaming and never really have, they just can't get into it. I've tried a few times with some really easy games but even then they end up getting stuck on walls etc. I think the best success we've had is with those point and click hidden objective games which my mum loves.

 

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