What is the public opinion about a video game at this moment? Has it turned bad again like in the 80s and 90s? Video games still have some detractors until this very day. Just check out the online news and you will see countless criticisms about the video games industry. On all the media platforms, they keep on saying that games are associated with autism, epilepsy... Just recently, many concerned parents have spoken up to voice their concerns about the link between mass shootings and violent video games, and they even tried to limit the time young people spend on games like PUBG or Fortnite.

Just like other forms of mass-distributed media (film, music, literature) in the 70s onwards, video games have received much blame because of society's inner terrors. Maybe exposure to the screen will not lead to ADHD in children, but it is true that children with ADHD are more likely to become addicted to screens. A little bit of observation and we could notice that nowadays many parents use the digital screen to earn some free time for their own outside of their routine and overbearing life.

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Apex Legends

If we have teenagers drop out of school because of LOL, Fortnite or Apex Legends, then it is time for us to start adapting our education system. New technologies have made way for video games but they could also be used to encourage education. The weave of society have changed, so being a pro Fornite player is also a career option.

We believe that video games aren't bad at all. In fact. we could use video games to bring family's members together easier than ever.

Video games' benefits

From the University of Arkansas, professor Camilla Shumaker is researching on how games could help us to improve our problem solving and focus skills. This might directly opposite the popular belief about all the side effects of games. But if you look at video games the same way we look at sports, theatre or learning tools, we could notice that an individual could benefit a lot from playing video games. Beyond all the coordination, focus, and mental skills there is also social benefit - particularly the familial benefit. To identify this, a group of researchers from the University of Arizona State has conducted an experiment about the usage of games by participants from many age groups. From the experiment they have conducted, they noticed that the more parents and children spend time playing video games together, the closer they are.

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Professor Camilla Shumaker

The Delbert & Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy,  professor Elizabeth Hayes has said in an interview about this research. She said that playing games with children are a great way for parents to spend time with them. Maybe most parents don't understand this but playing and sharing the experiences of video games is a great way to teach children about literacy, science and problem-solving. In the process, parents could also integrate their own way of teaching into the game.

Hayes and her team at Arizona State University have done a great job with their Impact Guides, which demonstrates the way game-playing kids and parents can work together to find the right kind of game. Maybe letting a 7-year-old play Red Dead Redemption is not a very good idea, but there are many other games out there.

Establish the bond

When playing with your children, try to understand their love for video games instead of chastising them. That way you could enrich your relationship with your children. That's also what makes many game studios proud of their works.

Gaming Family
Playing games is a great way for parents to bond with their kids

Currently, society is working on the foundation that was reestablished by the giants in family entertainment. Take jokes that only adults can get in a cartoon for children as an example. The content aims at kids, but adults could also enjoy them nonetheless. The important part is to design an experience for the kid but one that adults can enjoy as well. These producers are working on a very confirmed fact: now is the time of gamer dads and moms with all of their purchasing power. Like recently, we have had the Switch which is both aimed for children and parents. The console is kid-friendly but also appeal to the adults because of the nostalgia feeling of sharing a screen on a Nintendo machine.

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PS4 PlayLink

On the other hand, we have the PS4 PlayLink which will help to bring non-players and players together with an interesting twist. It uses mobile devices to break the entrance barrier of learning to use a new controller. Who doesn't have a smartphone or tablet these days, right? One game - Melbits World - even took a step further than that. It replaced the competing experience with collaboration and union. What can be more fun than a smartphone help bringing the family together, right?

So with this hot trend, how will we tackle that needs for parents and children to play together? We should try to look at it from another point of view. Just spend time with your children. If you are gamers, play video games with them.  Ỏr in case you are a parent who is concerned about the games they play, then join them to understand more about it. Just like sports, video games could really help to build up social, problem solving and focus skills mostly in the early days of the child. But the most important thing is that it helps strengthen the bond between children and parents.

Big undiscovered territory

So gaming is slowly working its way to be viewed as a healthy activity for the whole family. Working toward that goal arguably has amazing potentials both on the long and mid-term. When we put into context the average family, video games just make sense as a mean of entertainment and a way for the whole family to bond together because there are much more than just Co-op or multiplayer in PC or Console titles.

All of that is just the very start of this age of family games. These games will very soon become a tradition in our home, like kids football game or baseball Sundays. We have the power to use video games for the greater good. So we must take this chance and do it right.