Research: Playing Games Improves Children’s Emotional Well-Being, Helps Families Bond

According to a new study by the Queensland University of Technology, playing video games improves children's emotional, social, and psychological well-being. The study also finds that playing video games together as a family can help build stronger family bonds.

"We are seeing clear evidence of improvements in mood, stress reduction, increased feeling of competence and autonomy and really strong feelings of being connected with the people they are playing with," director of QUT's games research and interaction design lab Daniel Johnson said. "Games that kids are playing require lots of strategy, require teamwork and while they're playing they're chatting about things going on in their life – so it's a social experience at the same time."

Dr. Johnson said that parental involvement in gaming is a key factor, combined with playing age-appropriate games for moderate amounts of time – which he puts at about 8-10 hours a week.

"But how you play is more important than how much or what you play – so if kids are playing with friends or family and playing cooperatively, then that's really going to help them build relationships," he said.

The study also suggested that children who don't play games at all may be socially disadvantaged compared to their peers who do because they cannot engage with their peers in discussions about popular culture. Nevertheless, Dr. Johnson recommended a "balanced media diet" for children.

Source: The Australian

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