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ESA Survey - Parents say games are good for kids

If kids, parents and video games were ingredients for a cocktail, the resulting beverage would make for a particularly bitter mix. That's been the prevailing wisdom anyway for as long as anyone can remember: parents don't trust video games. After a recent survey by the US's Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group that manages E3, it turns out that maybe those ingredients can be mixed together after all and the resulting drink is unexpectedly refreshing.

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Survey: Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry

According to the 2014 edition the ESA survey called the Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, 56% of American parents consider video games to be a positive influence on their kids. While it may not be an overwhelming majority, the notion that more than half of the parents surveyed view video games as beneficial is certainly a surprise.

And its not the only piece of good news to come from the survey. The report goes further, claiming that 68% of the surveyed families also "believe game play provides mental stimulation or education" to the player. Most promising was the figure that 42% of parents play games with their children on a weekly basis. Last year the the American Psychological Association (APA) also did a study on positive effect violent video games can have on children, "Note to parents - Video games could boost social, memory and cognitive skills."

Video games provide: education, mental stimulation, & bonding opportunities

"Parents across America recognize the widespread benefits of video games, including education, mental stimulation, and the bonding opportunities they create for families," said ESA president Michael D. Gallagher. "Video games are a favorite pastime enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and millions worldwide who share their game play experiences with friends and family."

Another interesting tidbit to come out of the survey is that adult women form a significantly larger portion (36%) of the game-playing population than teenage boys (17%). If only marketers would incorporate that bit of info in their marketing mix.

You read the full survey here.

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