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Parents And Kids Are Bonding With Games, Smartphones

August 22, 2011

New research from Goldsmiths University and video game maker PopCap found that using smartphones and playing video games are helping parents bond with their children, reports The Telegraph.

In a poll of more than 3,000 parents and grandparents, the researchers found that four in 5 parents described playing video games as “quality time” spent with their children, while 32 percent of parents play computer games with their kids everyday. And 22 percent of parents said that playing computer games has helped their children develop a better understanding of technology.

The study also found that the growth of casual gaming has meant that children as young as two years old are becoming skilled in the use of smartphones and other wireless devices. As many as 27 percent of parents said that their children borrowed their smartphone or tablet computer on a daily basis to play games.

Also, many grandparents said they play video games with their technically-inclined grandkids to bond with them as well.

“These findings are important because they highlight the social benefits of playing videogames,” said Dr. Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychology reader at Goldsmiths.

“Previous research has tended to look only at the individual effects of video games, but in the era of social networking games appear to play a vital role in enhancing social relationships,” said Chamorro-Premuzic.

“The fact that both parents and grandparents are using games to connect with their children and grandchildren, and quite successfully, suggests that video games can improve social skills and make a key contribution to both effective parenting and child development,” he said.

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