How Video Games Can Educate Children and Unite Families

Research shows that cross-generational gameplay can help children learn valuable lessons while simultaneously educating adults about current technology. It's time to get our game on.

What's the Latest Development?

Leveraging the billions of hours annually spent playing video games could help children learn and bring families closer together, say researchers who have studied the effects of video game use across generations. "For example, in 2009, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the University of Southern California studied video game play between adults and elementary school children. They found that kids were more engaged in learning with digital games than traditional board games and that adults learned technology skills from their kids." Cross-generational gameplay helped develop family literacy skills and development.

What's the Big Idea?

Like television, video games can be used for mindful or mindless programming. Unlike most television programs, video games are interactive. One notable exception, and model for educational video game makers, is Sesame Street, which in its effort to education children is mindful of their varied economic and cultural backgrounds. And just as children who watch Sesame Street with their parents learn more than watching alone, parental participation in the gaming experience could drive the video game industry to take advantage of the burgeoning digital education market. 

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