Study: Social Gaming Can Bring Families Together

A new study potentially has provided the best excuse that gamers have been seeking to justify their passion: It can bring you closer to your family.

Science Daily reports on a Concordia University study titled “Families and social network games.” The study offers “offers an in-depth understanding of social network gameplay within the context of existing family – rather than friend – networks; as issues of trust and obligation come to the forefront through family ties. This study illustrates that SNGs [social network games] offer new spaces for purposive leisure for families that transcends geographical boundaries.”

In other words, as Science Daily put it: “Researchers found that some online games offer families a common topic of conversation and enhance the quality of time spent together, despite the fact that most don’t necessarily involve any direct communication. The games can also bring together family members who may be only distantly connected, with respondents citing experiences such as connecting with long-lost cousins or bolstering relationships with aging aunts.”

The researchers found that “these online games offer families a common topic of conversation and enhance the quality of time spent together, despite the fact that most SNGs don’t necessarily involve any direct communication. The games can also bring together family members who may be only distantly connected, with respondents citing experiences such as connecting with long-lost cousins or bolstering relationships with aging aunts.”

The piece notes that not only can this gaming tighten family bonds, but also it provides new opportunities for game designers.

As senior author Mia Consalvo, Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design at Concordia told Science Daily: “Families that play together play the longest and have the greatest sense of duty to one another as players. That behaviour could extend the life of these games beyond what it would be if only friends or strangers were playing together. Designers should keep that in mind as they design the next generation of SNGs.”

 

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