According to a recent worldwide casual gaming survey, 70% of family members have seen educational benefits of their children and grandchildren playing computer games, while a whopping 92% say that casual games provide an opportunity for them to bond with them.
PopCap Games commissioned the survey and found some other interesting statistics that suggest not all video games are bad, either educationally or in terms of isolating kids.
Casual games provided the following observed benefits: improved hand-eye coordination and mental dexterity (68%), improved learning, such as pattern recognition and spelling (60%), mental workouts/cognitive exercises (51%), strengthened memory (48%), stress relief and relaxation (44%), and confidence building/affirmation (37%).
Of the 7,500 adults who took part in the survey, 31% had a child or grandchild under 18 who played casual video games in their home.
66% of these said they’d welcome the use of such games in the school classroom, while 80% said they played with their kids.
It was also observed that the majority of kids playing these games did so in a spirit of cooperation, rather than competition.
Professor Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University said, “Empirical research has consistently shown that in the right context, computer and video games can have a positive educational, psychological and therapeutic benefit to a large range of different ages and sub-groups.”
Meanwhile, Dr Carl Arinoldo, a New York psychologist, said that casual games spanned the generations and genders in a way that ‘hardcore’ games never have.
Good news for the likes of Nintendo, whose Wii and DS consoles are heavily marketed to casual, social gamers.
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