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Games Entertainment

35% Of Parents Game 54

Posted by Zonk
from the gamer-parents-are-the-best-parents dept.
Next Generation is reporting on an ESA study indicating that something like 35% of parents play games. Most of them play with their kids, and a large percentage say that gaming together knits their family closer together. From the article: "'The data provides further evidence dispelling the myth that game playing is dominated by teens and single twenty-somethings,' said Doug Lowenstein, ESA president. 'It tells us that parents see games both as an enjoyable activity on their own, and one that allows them to engage with their children as well.'"
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35% Of Parents Game

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  • by mendaliv (898932) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:50AM (#14568852)
    Some of their other statistics caught my eye:
    Gamer parents are also likely to be voters, according to the study, with 73 percent of those surveyed claiming to visit the polls regularly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 85 percent think that monitoring the appropriateness of what kids play should be the job of the parents, not the government or game publishers. Similarly, parents believe by a two-to-one margin that it isn't the government's job to regulate games at all.

    Now, at first I thought that this was great; maybe all the anti-gaming regs will fall through after all. But then of course, nobody is going to vote for somebody because they are against gamers' rights. At least not in this day and age. Ah well.
  • Fragged Dad (Score:1, Funny)

    by no_pets (881013)
    Son: "Ha ha! I just fragged you!"

    Dad: "You're grounded."

    Family bonding.
  • by HugePedlar (900427) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:51AM (#14568877) Homepage
    People Grow Older with Time.

    A recent study has found that the teenagers of the 80s and 90s have nearly all grown into adults. Many of these adults have sired children and play with them in the manner they used to play themselves.
    • Many of these adults have sired children and play with them in the manner they used to play themselves.

      You may want to consider rephrasing that.

    • I play Visual Pinball all the time.
      Does that count as a vid?
      How about my Dad, who plays Go online?

      OT: what the heck happened to the Start a New Thread link? I can't start a new thread so far as I can tell. Did I get stupid or did /. get tricky? :-(
  • Totally (Score:2, Funny)

    by aphoenix (877085)

    I'm totally waiting for the little one to get old enough to play games with. Then I'm all up ons the babysitting situation.

    "Hon, you want to go out? I'll stay in with the kids. No, we won't just order pizza and play video games."

    I mean, who better to play with than your kids? For a while, you can totally school them, and then when they start winning, you can send them to bed.

    • For a while, you can totally school them, and then when they start winning, you can send them to bed.

      At the rate he's learning, I figure I have max two years before my five-year-old is kicking six kinds of crap out of me in videogames. Used to be you'd have to wait until they were teenagers before they'd start beating you at something...

  • My two year old daughter loves playing "the falldown game" (NFL 2k5), "the car game" (Project Gotham Racing 2), and "the pirate game" (Sid Meier's Pirates!) with me on the XBox. However, I show the tiniest amount of parental sensibility and wait until after she's asleep to play San Andreas. With her being at the critical stage for copying language, I don't need her walking around talking like CJ!
    • My five-year-old and three-year-old like to play Half-Life (original) with me. Well, really, watch me play, though if I turn on god mode I can let the five-year-old run the mouse and I use the keyboard. We finished Tron 2.0 that way. I do the same with Descent 3, he uses the mouse and I use the joystick (it's like having really noisy controls).

      They love it. So much so that when our three-year-old drew on our carpet, the punishment my wife gave (in addition to helping clean it up) was "No Blue Shift for three days!" They have imaginary pet headcrabs and bullsquids, I kid you not.

      Now, we worked up to HL from D3, and I stick to the parts where you're shooting at monsters, not people. I've determined that my kids are not traumatized by the images and don't have nightmares or anything from them. They don't get in fights (indeed, from the comments we get from other parents they're unusually well-behaved), no signs of hyperactivity or poor attention span. Our five year old's first report card was quite good.

      Since they like games so much, we try to encourage the kinds we like. They love playing with the Eye Toy and dance pads we have for the PS2. (Okay, the 3.5-year-old doesn't do so hot with the dancing, but he has fun anyway...) Good exercise.

      (Just to forestall the trolls, we also go swimming, camping, biking, and the 5-year-old loves his karate class. It's winter so no soccer or baseball, but we do that too.)

      • >(Just to forestall the trolls, we also go swimming, camping, biking, and the 5-year-old loves his karate class. It's winter so no soccer or baseball, but we do that too.)

        This would be an interesting post if what you described was not actually physically impossible given the basic constraint of 24-hour days, and the need to eat, sleep, and work for money.
        • This would be an interesting post if what you described was not actually physically impossible given the basic constraint of 24-hour days, and the need to eat, sleep, and work for money.

          Aw, a troll! And I tried so hard... :->

          You're right, I can't bike and play soccer at the same time. Therefore, I must be lying when I say I do them regularly, since the only possible meaning of such a statement is that I do all possible activities simultaneously. You caught me!

          (BTW, kids that age? They only want to

  • I played games with my parents growing up all the time. I remember playing on the Atari with my Dad. Some of my favorite memories are playing tabletop D&D with my parents and sibling, which technically isn't an electronic game but the principle is the same. Even now I'll play with my Dad, well, more like feed him hints on how to play Neverwinter Nights as he can't seem to get into non D&D games. Anything that encourages family bonding time is good in my opinion.
    • My dad played Doom back when the Ultimate Doom collection came out. Whenever I show him a game, some of the most-asked questions are "can we go over there and kill that?" This is shortly followed by "no, dad. I need him alive. He's going to help me survive this part of the game." Mind you, he was about 49 when he first started watching my brother and me play games. He's 55 now, just to give you some sort of timeframe.

      Just the other day I showed him MGS3. This, of course, sparked little discussions about gun
      • My Dad does Doom as well. So I totally understand. It's kind of funny isn't it. He's turning 60 this year so I get the age thing as well. There's a certain sense of nostalgia and wierdness about helping your Dad play computer games. It's funny I'm the geek in the family and I got my bro into playing Warcrack as well. We're insidious I tell you, bua ha ha.
      • hehe... my dad used to play descent (the first one, just the demo realy) I still remember teaching him how to load it up in DOS (on the old win95 machine) so it wouldnt tab down when he was flying at an enemy, it was flying at him, and they were both shooting.

        he stopped playing when the joystick broke. He played Descent 2 sometime later with a new one, but that broke pretty quickly as well, and he never realy got used to the controls anyway...

        aside from that, my mom loves the webgames like cubis.
  • More info (Score:2, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888)
    Here's more info, [theesa.com] via the ESA's press release. There still seem to be a lot of questions to be answered regarding their methods, however, such as how those 501 families were chosen.
  • Makes sense (Score:3, Informative)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:56AM (#14568958) Homepage
    Many parents today grew up with video games and it's a great way for the busy mom or dad to bond with their kids, at least in a superficial way given the probability that it will be the extent of their bonding. Also, it makes good sense that they are voters because to be able to easily afford a new game system and spend $50-$60/game, you'd have to have disposable income and IIRC, studies have shown that disposable income correlates to higher voter participation.
  • When did computer games first become mainstream and popular, the early 90s? And it was popular with the teen age group.

    ~15 years later it's 2006 and we're surprised that those teens grew up and had kids and didn't stop gaming. Gasp!

    That's like acting surprised that more parents snowboard now than they did 20 years ago. Amazing, it's because there WAS no snowboarding 20 years ago.
  • Playing computer games is no different than playing a board game or anything else with your child.
    • True, but with everything there are limits.

      I know a family where the dad (50) and 2 sons (10 and 16) play to the extreme. Dad and the boys play ALL the time (dad is out of work, and too friggin lazy to get a real job.) The 10 year old usually stays up until midnight playing with dad and older bro.

      Both kids do not do well in school and are anti-social.

      I know another family where the 8 year old games all the time, alone, with seriously violent MA games. He has serious social issues too.

      So anyway, sure, game w
  • My son loved to sit on my lap when he was a toddler and watch me play Gran Turismo. He had to have his own controller though, so he could mimic my actions when racing around.
  • by caesar-auf-nihil (513828) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:07PM (#14569126)
    I fully agree with the article comment about knitting families together. While we certainly do play board games together, there is a lot of fun brought by multi-player kid-friendly games for the whole family.
    The simplistic fun of Mario Kart, and even the entire Mario Party Series, has been a great hit in my household. My 9-year old can hold his own very well, and my 6-year old has even won games...without us going easy on the younger child. We all have fun and look forward to doing it again.
    I have not seen the type of game where the whole family can play together, in simple good fun where as a parent you won't feel bad if the kid sees what is on screen, except on Nintendo. People can make fun of Mario and gang all they want - but they are kid friendly, and damn fun to play with even as an adult.
    That being said - I like FPS games as much as the next serious gamer. I'm still playing Doom3 quite abit, but I wait until the kids go to bed. I can get my gaming fix during the day, if necessary, by challenging my kids and wife to a race on Mario Kart. Especially now that my kids and wife are really good at it, it's a decent challenge.

    • Ah, Mario Party. I never would have imagined that my mom would tell me to stop reading a book and come play a video game.
    • It's definitely not for kids. I am a college grad and I play Mario party with my girlfriend and her family (gasp!). The siblings of that family are in high school. They don't play games normally but they like Mario party due to it's easy learning curve. If they played halo, they would be bored since I'll be getting a 50-1 frag ratio. Plus, I will mention that I visit the girlfriend's house like once a month for her family's gatherings.

      Another side note, my OLDER cousins like Mario party too. They're t
    • Plus, those of us who grew up playing NES games (like myself) are starting to get to the age of having children. I can definately see myself telling my kids in the future, "No really, I DID play the first Mario game ever! And yes, believe it or not it only had 2 dimensions!"
  • My step-mom is one of those people as well. She plays puzzle games and solitaire all the time, this isn't just recently, I know that she's been playing solitaire games on her computer since like.. well.. ever
    • an interesting tidbet that my dad told me:

      those simple games that you play with your mouse that are included with windows were originally intended to teach mouse skills to people new to using them.
  • In my house we have 5 wow accounts. 2 for parents, 3 for kids (we have more kids than that but we all have to share.) Just last night I gave my level 20 Warlock to my son to play since he's higher level than all of his characters (and he's 19!) (plus, he was my alt.)
  • My wife and I both play Warcrack, and in our guild there are MULTIPLE family sets. We are constantly linking "Oh that's such and suchs kid..." Makes us watch our potty mouths in guild chat some, which I guess is a good thing, although we still cuss like sailors on the vent server during raids.

    When my wife and I have kids I fully expect them to game with us, or conversely it might be us gaming with them. Either way, I think of it as a positive. Some of the best memories I have as a child are of things

    • We've got a few family groups in my WoW guild. Something I've learned about marriage from grouping with husband/wife pairs: Don't make simmilar classes. Specifically, armor wise. Don't make two rogues, or a priest and a mage. Make a hunter and a warlock, or a paladin and a druid. Anything, just so your need rolls can't possibly overlap. It's bad enough when strangers argue over wether the priest should be allowed to roll on Dreadmist, but marriage adds a whole new dimension to any conflict.
  • Move up to SNES/Genesis maybe two years later...then N64 and PSX...and so on until they eventually reach whatever the current generation is when they're around 16 or so. The maturity level of games, like that of children, increases with age...and it's important they appreciate how games got to where they are today...plus it will keep the little buggers off my snazzy XBox 720.
  • my dad used to play "summer games" on the Commodore64 with us. They were fun :)

    We also had a bunch of different and simple games, one was about a clown that had to hold balloons, if you dropped a balloon you lost. The game was hilarious.

    See, it all depends. Some games are designed to be played in team (2 or more players). Others are designed to be played by only one person. I really miss the "you lose your life, it's the next player's turn" feature on today's games.
  • It does not break out the percentile ages of those who took the polls or their definition of "gamer", and those are of critical importance. Yes, it does say that the average is 37 years old, but an average could mean anything from 50% were exactly 50 years old and 50% were exactly 24 years old. I'm going to extremes, I know, but it still makes an important point. By definition, when you have a child, you are a parent regardless of your age. So, just saying "x% of parents" means nothing in and of itself.
    • As an "older" player of MMOPG's it blew me away when I started seeing public broadcast chat at a early teen or younger level of maturity. (I started with EQ and I think the younger crowd didnt really show up on this genre until a few years later) I was thinking: What so these kids parents went out and got them a $40-$50 game then handed over their credit card for the monthly fee? "Go ahead Billy, play away"

      I'm glad to see part of the reasoning behind this is the parents interaction with thier kids. MMORP
  • Poor Jack. If more parents would spend time with their kids, instead of using the idiot box (or game console/pc) as a babysitter, so much of this crap would die down.

    I know quite a few parents that play various PC or console games with their children. I had several guildmates in EQ who were father/son or mother/son. One woman, whose husband passed away, taught her son how to play his father's characters. It helped them stay closer.

    I know that my wife and I play MMOs together a lot, and even some non-MMO
  • I'm a pretty big fan of D&D and RPGs in general. I DM several ongoing campaigns, and even manage to get a little PC time in here and there. One day I was doing some world building, and my daughter came up to me and asked if she could play. Who could say no to a 5 year old? So we got some maps, minis, and dice and tell you what, we had a ball. Now she asks to play every other day and has her own dice and minis. We even roped the wife to the table, and now SHE has her own dice.

    Gaming with the family
  • My main problem is that my younger daughter beats the crap out of me at most games. Her older sister I can beat every time. I agree with the various posts about this bringing families together. We play Halo 1 & 2, Crimson Skies, and Need For Speed on the Xbox. Great fun. She actually enjoys the coopertaive mode in Halo more than the combat mode. The family that frags together stays together.
  • I'm typically more surprised when I find parents near my age who do not play games with or without their kids.

    Our girls are 5 and 8. The 8 year old plays WoW with mommy using a char on my account. Her level 37 night elf hunter kicks butt, and she is very excited about getting her tiger mount at 40. The 5 year old enjoys Reader Rabbit and her Dora games. Recently the girls have discovered a taste for racing games. I purchased a racing wheel with pedals and some older games (Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit). The

    • >Furthermore, I have emulators and ROMs for our old NES and SNES so I don't have to drag those boxes out and hook them up; we just play on the PC. They get a kick out of the old graphics, and I do, too.

      Hah! That's nothing - ever since I got a ROM emulator for the computer, my 14 year old brother spends all his computer time playing Final Fantasy V and Seiken Densetsu 3 (or however it's spelled), and all this other oldschool stuff, and he won't play Battlefield or SWAT4 or anything else over the LAN with
  • Not just Vid Games, but games in general. Hell, I didn't start playing miniature games (40k, warmachine) until my late thirties.

    It's natural for us parental types to try to interest their kids in activities we remember fondly from our youth. And in my opinion (nothing humble about it), gaming, be it board, vid, classic, role playing...whatever, is in general a good thing.

    Just remember, it ain't about winning, it's how you play the game!
  • I'd love to know how these parents make time for such games. I have three kids. From time to time I sit down and play a quick game of bzflag or gauntlet with them. However, with work, house chores, dinner, homework help, and storytime (I love reading to them), I just can't find the time. I supose it might help if my wife didn't hate technology... However, I'd still love to know how they find the time.
    • I can understand that to a point. My son is currently living with his father on a (shall we say) stupid judgement). My ex games alot more than I do, he doesnt work, hes not good for alot, he goes to school PT and has refused to get a job, so hes a slacker. I will call my son randomly and ask what his dad is doing and he tells me 'computer', which really nothing has changed since I was pregnant with my son. :/ I will game every so offten, but I also have other things that need be done here, and dont consist
  • ...probably teenage parents. But honestly, many times they just take bad or incomplete statistics. Just a thought. "50% of all humans are not female"

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