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Video Games Can be Fun for People of All Ages
Video games have fans of all ages. Video games are now often being played between different generations. New games are being designed with families in mind have been developed to facilitate family playing experiences. For example, Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo in 2006. It was advertised as a family-friendly game console. With the help of Wii remote controller, players’ movements can be detected and transmitted as a game controlling command. This new control system also offered a variety of physical strength and styles of play, which facilitated intergenerational users to compete on equal level. Nintendo has since released multiple more advanced versions of Wii, each sharing the same focus on family-friendly characteristics.
Personal Relationships Maybe Strengthened
Scholars have examined intergenerational video game playing identified several characteristics of popular video games played together by family members. For example, family-oriented games are more likely to enable social interactions and involve both generations in the design process of games. However, little is known about the effects of familial co-play on familial relationships or the characteristics of video games or game play that may be associated with the strengthening of those relationships. Although the video game industry claims that video games are beneficial to family relations and two-thirds of American families have a device to play video games, no scholarly work has yet explicitly examined the effects of familial co-playing on the family generally.
Early research on video games focused on effects related to aggressive and anti-social behaviors. Second, certain video games have been shown to facilitate learning and provide information to players. Third, researchers have investigated how video games that employ kinetic controllers can lead players to engage in physical activity and thereby improve their physical health. Finally, some video games have positive effects on individuals’ psychological and cognitive well-being.
One mechanism by which such positive effects are believed to occur is by facilitating more social interaction, particularly among family members.
Research has begun to document a range of positive effects, both physical and physiological, of video games on those who play them. For example, one research document examined how playing Wii games could improve mood and reduce loneliness among the elderly. Results showed that, among the elderly, playing Wii resulted in lower loneliness and better mood compared to those who watched TV. Other research has linked solo game play with quality of life more generally.
Besides the positive effects on individuals in solo-playing settings, research on video games has also demonstrated that video game co-playing experiences can provide opportunities for social interaction among families and friends. Research has found that co-playing video games with parents was negatively associated with internalizing and aggressive behaviors and positively associated with pro-social behaviors for girls.
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