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Families bond over video games: report

'Casual games' bring families together

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Once thought of as an alienating and isolating influence, computer games are now becoming a favoured means of bonding among families.

This is the finding of a new survey of 'casual gamers' by PopCap Games, the results of which were released on Tuesday. The survey found that 92 percent of casual gaming parents and grandparents used computer games to bond with their children or grandchildren, while 66 percent of them would welcome the use of computer games in schools.

Seventy percent of respondents also cited the many possible benefits of computer gaming for their offspring, including improved hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity, improved memory and recall, opportunities for learning and cognitive exercise, stress relief and relaxation and confidence-building. Any Nintendo Wii-owning families can add a comprehensive physical workout to that list.

Professor Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University agreed with the survey's conclusions. "Empirical research has consistently shown that in the right context, computer and videogames can have a positive educational, psychological and therapeutic benefit to a large range of different ages and sub-groups," he said.

Psychologist Dr. Carl Arinoldo commented: "The universal appeal of casual games makes them a great activity in which the whole family can participate, with each generation enjoying the games in different ways while also enjoying the interaction with other family members."

Recent years have seen an increase in the amount of these games on the market, such as the Buzz! quiz titles and the Sing Star and Guitar Hero music games.

© 2007 ENN

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