Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/05/microsoft_play_safe_report/

Games good for kids and families, finds Microsoft

It would say that, wouldn't it?

By James Sherwood

Posted in Games, 5th March 2009 14:43 GMT

Despite the web being littered with reports of videogame-inspired murders, the vast majority of UK parents believe games can actually be beneficial for kids and families, it has been claimed.

Despite the survey being conducted on behalf of games console maker Microsoft, the latest Play Smart, Play Safe assessment discovered that 61 per cent of UK parents agreed that games create a great social experience.

The survey questioned over 2500 parents in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the US, but full regional breakdowns haven’t been provided. It also quizzed 1000 kids in the UK, but for some unknown reason ignored young ’uns in other countries.

Over half of UK adults questioned – 52 per cent, to be exact – said that games bring families closer together.

It's not known how many of them own Wiis rather than Xbox 360s.

A whopping 80 per cent also see games as a vital component in a “balanced blend of modern and traditional entertainment”, possibly after Scrabble, Radio 4 and Newsnight.

However, it’s not all sweetness and light, because 42 per cent of parents said they are worried about their children communicating with older users online.

Interestingly, 69 per cent of kids wanted their mums and dads to become more proactive in checking the age ratings of videogames – something that 92 per cent of young gamers claimed to be aware of.

Microsoft’s already well aware of the negative press that games such as Grand Theft Auto can attract. Earlier this year it launched a website designed to bring parents up to date with consoles and game classifications. ®