Co-Playing Video Games and Parent-Child Relationships

Posted by Anneliese Sheffield on March 8 2014 at 3:12 p.m.

  • Hi! Let's have a discussion in the comment section here about our collective experiences with and research on parent-child co-play and the parent-child relationships.

    As my paper and presentation show, in the population that I studied, I did not find evidence of relationship enhancing qualities in the act of co-playing video games unless the parents only co-played video games seldom (less than once a week). In fact, the relationships grew slightly worse when parents co-played played more often. This was contrary to the results in the literature, and it surprised me!

    What do you think? Is it an anomaly for my non-random population? Do you have other suggestion for why this negative correlation was found?


  • Hi Anneliese, I don't know much about statistics or Parental Nurturing scale but I have a few questions.

    You said that there were 32 participants, is a participant an individual or a couple? (the two parents' point of view might be interesting)

    You suggested that parents who play much do not have many opportunities to spend time with their children. Is there a difference between the parents who play video games but not with their children and those who also play with their children ?

    Finally, I have given a paper about a video game used to express parental affection. Have you seen this video ?


  • Hi Sébastien. The 32 participants were all individuals. You bring up a good point that it could be valuable to look at the mother and father perspectives in relation to one another. In this pilot study, I didn’t try to link the parents, but in the next phase of the study I am coding the respondents so I can view the data about each family unit.

    Your paper about parent expressions of affection sounds very closely related. Could you send me the citation?

    The Animal Crossing video is interesting - a good example of how parents and children can connect, even though this connection happened too late.


  • Hey,

    the paper was from the International Toy research Association Congress in 2011. The proceedings are not available, but I can send it to you. Just send me a email:

    The perspective was to study the possibility for video game to convey affection.

    By the way, do you know any game that have been designed specially for parent/child play ? (not necessarily video games) Some parents would like such games, and as a former game designer, I would be interested in studying or working on one. Maybe you have so information about it.


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