Gaming in Families: A Literature Review

Mary Ulicsak, Sue Cranmer, Martha Wright

01 August 2009

This report identifies previous programmes of work which have investigated the role of video games in the context of families as well as market research data on family gaming. It also looks at the benefits and risks associated with family gaming. The aim is to provide an overview of existing research in the field in order to begin addressing issues such as the role of video games in the social, leisure and informal learning activities of families,and the attitudes and perceptions of family members towards the risks and benefits of such games. In addition, it highlights areas where further research is required in order to support adults and children to better appreciate and understand the benefits and risks associated with video games.

The first section describes existing research into video games and families. It reports statistics around access to technology, availability of suitable games, and how game playing is supported in family settings. For the purposes of this report video games include all games regardless of genre played on personal computers, consoles and mobile devices, either on or offline. Family gaming includes any kinship grouping where the players come from different generations and, although it is noted that many play games with siblings, we focus on how adults support younger people and vice-versa.

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