Families can bond over videogames, according to new study

While the industry still struggles with thirty year concerns of violence in video games, researchers have been expanding the field of video game studies on their own. The latest comes from Arizona State University, where professors Elisabeth Hayes and Sinem Siyahhan explain that parent can use video games to help them raise their children, particularly when they are entering middle school/junior high school.

During this period, children want to be more independent from their parents, and Hayes and Siyahhan explain how video game can be used to transition them towards that. Left on their own, children retreat to games to explore and immerse in them, effectively becoming 'digital natives'. Hayes and Siyahhan explain that when parents play games with their children, the game becomes another channel of communication between them. They also cite how games can help players learn more about science, history and problem solving. 

In relation to the new research, the university has arranged for an event so parents can learn the skills they need to use video games in this way. Called "Under 21 – Intergenerational Game Play", the event will be held in the Phoenix Art Museum and is free of charge, although registration is required due to limited slots. The ASU has also provided a free online guide called Games and Impact, sharing several case studies for their research on games. Games used as case studies include Minecraft, Portal 2 and Sims games. 

We lately covered a separate study unable to prove direct causation between violent video games and antisocial behavior.

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