ASU research says parents, kids should play video games together
Forbes technology contributor Jordan Shapiro recently blogged about how playing video games with your kids has a positive impact on their adolescent development and long-term family outcomes. He cited two academic sources, including Arizona State University’s research on intergenerational game play by Elisabeth Hayes Gee and Sinem Siyahhan of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Shapiro said he had believed for a while that sharing the gaming experience with your children was positive, based on his own personal experience and anecdotal evidence. He also had previously blogged about it: “In short, I argued that playing with your kids was good – if they’re into video games, taking an interest in their chosen games was one of the best things you could do to be a good parent.”
With this column, he was able to share ASU’s academic studies to support his previous claims, as well as an upcoming book he is writing “about parenting, teaching, and changing the world with video games.” He quotes both researchers, as follows, to prove his point.
“Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids.” Elisabeth Hayes (Gee), Delbert & Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy and professor in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, explains that “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.’”
Sinem Siyahhan (now an assistant research professor in Teachers College) explains how games can become a “point of conversation, not a point of conflict.” Siyahhan adds, “On the flip side, it’s nice for the child to be able to teach his or her parents about gaming. Our research is finding that sharing this experience cultivates family bonding, learning and well-being.”
Finally, Shapiro also links to ASU’s Center for Games and Impact and its “great collection” of parent guides offering advice for talking with your kids about such popular games as Minecraft, Sims and more.