A study done by researchers at Brigham Young University finds that girls who play video games with their parents are better behaved, share a deeper connection with family and have strong mental health, says Sarah Coyne, professor at Brigham Young University's School of Family Life is lead author of the study.
The study tested 287 families using age appropriate games and the lead researcher Sarah Coyne says, “The surprising part about this for me is that girls don't play video games as much as boys, bBut they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did.
The same results were not found with the boys, playing with parents hardly seemed to have any effect.
Girls went in for games like Mario Kart, Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Rock Band and Guitar. Call of Duty, Wii Sports and Halo ranked the highest among boys.
Researchers added that the reason boys were different from girls could be because they probably spend a lot of time playing games - often with friends.
Coyne and co-author Laura Padilla-Walker offer two plausible explanations for the boys not being affected by family play.
We're guessing it's a daddy-daughter thing, because not a lot of moms said yes when we asked them if they played video games, Padilla-Walker said. Co-playing is probably an indicator of larger levels of involvement, she added.
It's also possible that the time boys play with parents doesn't stand out as much because they spend far more time playing with friends.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reports that 48 percent of parents play videogames with their kids at least once per week. About 67 percent of American homes either own a console, and/or use their PC to run entertainment software.
It is generally believed that males are attracted to gaming more than females . But statistics reveal a different picture. Forty percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent), according to ESA.
With the average age of gamers being 34 years the gaming industry is catering to adults rather than children, a fact that most parents seem to miss. One quarter of children ages 11 to 16 identify an M-Rated (Mature Content) game as among their favorites.
Clearly, this is a case of wrongful advertising where adult content is aimed at young game users.
Parents need to be more aware of what they are purchasing for their children or what the children are playing . Fortunately, The Federal Trade Commission has found that 83 percent of game purchases for underage consumers are made by parents or by parents and children together.
Also nowadays much of video game playing is social with most games catering to multi-players and children more often choosing to play with friends. Almost 60 percent of frequent gamers play with friends. Thirty-three percent play with siblings and 25 percent play with spouses or parents (ESA).
Hence, parents of boys can take it easy but setting a good example may just work as well.