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8

Chuzzle Saved My Family

A survey conducted by PopCap (those responsible for the excellent Bookworm Adventures and the AVERAGE Peggle) has learned that Casual Games will solve all the problems of the world, and cure all diseases.

Or indeed that they help families bond. Which is rather lovely, really.

The survey, conducted for PopCap by the Information Solutions Group, was the largest ever worldwide survey of casual computer game players, apparently. And it found that,

“70% of ‘family gamers’ believe casual games provide educational benefits to their children/grandchildren – with greatest benefits of gameplay identified as learning, stress relief and hand-eye coordination.”

The report goes on,

“In stark contrast to traditional perceptions of computer gaming, parents/grandparents said casual games helped them bond with their children/grandchildren (92%) and mentioned the following casual game benefits for children/grandchildren:

· 68% cited Hand-eye coordination/Manual dexterity

· 60% cited Learning (pattern recognition, resource allocation, spelling, etc.)

· 51% cited Mental workouts/Cognitive exercise

· 48% cited Memory strengthening

· 44% cited Stress relief/Relaxation

· 37% cited Positive affirmation/Confidence building”

Bear in mind that this was a survey paid for by the most well known casual games publisher in the biz, so perhaps sprinkle salt. But otherwise: Games cure cancer!

The rest of the report is below the clickyjump.

“Among the nearly 7,500 adult respondents who took part in the survey, nearly a third (31%) indicated they had children or grandchildren under 18 who play casual games in their home. And of these 2,298 ‘family gamers’, 80% play casual games with their children or grandchildren – while 66% said they would welcome the use of such games in their children’s or grandchildren’s schools.

Professor Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK says: “Empirical research has consistently shown that in the right context, computer- and videogames can have a positive educational, psychological and therapeutic benefit to a large range of different ages and sub-groups.”

“Casual games span generations and genders in ways that traditional ‘hardcore’ video games never have,” notes Dr. Carl Arinoldo, a New York-based psychologist and author of Essentials of Smart Parenting. “This universal appeal, and the ‘G-rated’ content of the games, makes them a great activity in which the whole family can participate, with each generation enjoying the games in different ways while also enjoying the interaction with other family members.”

Almost half of respondents indicated they had multiple children or grandchildren who played the games in their home. Of these, 88% described the game-play interaction between the children as at least partly cooperative, with only 12% characterizing it as strictly competitive. “Casual games seem to promote more of a cooperative ‘let’s work on this together’ type of atmosphere, as opposed to an aggressive, interpersonal competitive environment,” observed Dr. Arinoldo. On a related note, only 28% of adult family gamers indicated they allowed their children or grandchildren to play so-called “hardcore” video games.”

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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