Parents, If You Love Your Kids, You Will Force Them To Play Video Games

Activision Family Game

Activision Family Game

When I see a Mom or Dad who is stopping their child from playing video games, it takes all I have to not call social services.  I mean, talk about endangering the welfare of a child…what really could be worse than not playing video games?  What, does that parent want their child to have nightmares?  Or maybe be a below average surgeon?  Or have the creativity of a lump of coal?  Maybe the parents’ get some sick joy from setting their child up for failure…which they will not be able to handle.

Confused?  You Clearly Did Not Attend the Activision Family Game Summit

On November 13th I attended the Activision Family Game Summit in NYC.   We got to see the full lineup of Activision family video games, which I will get to in a bit, but it was Suzanne Kantra from Techlicious that stole the show.  Suzanne presented a number of slides on the Social, Emotional, Mental and Physical Benefits of playing video games.

I will give anyone over the age of 40 a moment to remove their jaw from the ground.  You see, we were brought up believing that video games would rot your brain out and they were the work of the devil.  The idea that video games could actually make kids better human beings…wow!

Here are some highlights from Ms. Kantra’s slides that backup the claims I made in the first paragraph…

  • Gaming can act as a semi-protective function against nightmares (Athabasca University, Canada)
  • Laproscopic surgeons who played video games were able to operate 24% faster – with 32% fewer errors – during a simulated surgery than non-gamers (Archives of Surgery)
  • Kids that play video games scored 23% higher in creative tests involving tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories (Michigan State University)
  • Gamers spend 80% of their time failing – makes them more resilient in the face of failure (“Reality is Broken” by Jane McGonigal)

All of that, and we are not even touching on the obvious like improvements in hand eye coordination.  Clearly all of my issues in life stem from not playing enough video games as a kid!

Now That We Know Video Games Are Not Evil, Which Ones Should You Play?

When many people think of video games they think Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.  Yes, there are plenty of over the top violent video games out there, but there are also some great family oriented video games.   Activision showed off a number of their family friendly video games for 2012, here are some highlights…

Family Video Games

Moshi Monsters – Moshlings Theme Park – The Moshlings have lost their way around Amusement Isle and they need your help to round up their monster-mates and light up the magical Moshlings Theme Park.

Lalaloopsy – Carnival of Friends - Peanut Big Top™ is throwing the biggest Silly Funhouse carnival in Lalaloopsy Land for all to enjoy, including a special treat at the end! It’s up to you to find all of the Lalaloopsy friends at the carnival to reveal the BIG surprise!

Bratz Fashion Boutique – Bratz® are everyone’s favorite gIrls with a passion for fashion®! Now you can join the girls and run the hottest fashion boutiques in Stylesville. Help create the latest trends and tap into your inner diva!

Skylanders Giants – Skylanders really need no introduction.  New for 2012 are the Skylander Giants – bigger characters, more adventures and more fun!

Wipeout 3 -  Ever wonder how no one has gotten killed taking a bad bounce off the Big Balls on the Wipeout TV show?  Me too.  Well, no chance of getting injured playing the super fun Wipeout 3 video game…unless you have the Xbox 360 Kinect version and smash into a wall trying to get through the Wipeout zone.

Transformers Prime – The Game – Help OPTIMUS PRIME and the AUTOBOTS join forces with human friends Jack, Miko and Raf to save the Earth from MEGATRON and his new secret weapon THUNDERWING. Play as one of your favorite AUTOBOT characters including BUMBLEBEE and BULKHEAD as you battle through unique vistas around the world to help defeat the DECEPTICONS.

Wreck-It Ralph – You’ve seen the movie, now continue the fun with the video game.  Did you really think they would not make a video game about a movie that is all about video games?  The pleasant surprise is the video game is fun and picks up where the movie ends.

Angry Birds Trilogy – How is it possible Angry Birds didn’t exist on game consoles until Activision released this trilogy in September 2012?  It’s Angry Birds, but with 19 exclusive levels – need we say more?

The Trash Pack – taking out the trash has never been so much! Join your favorite Trashies in litter-loaded adventures of the grossest proportions!

Look, Not All Video Games Are For 13 year Old Boys!

The cool thing about the above list of video games is that they are not geared toward 13 year old boys.  A number of the games are focused toward girls while others are gender neutral.  I would say only Transformers has a strong boy focus.

Having video games for girls is very important because…

  • Girls who play video games with a parent are better behaved, feel more connected with their families and have stronger mental health (Brigham Young University)

Man, I love Suzanne Kantra.

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