Game On: Playing video games with your kids

Thursday, November 02, 2017 05:59PM
Game On: Playing video games with your kids. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on November 2, 2017.

Consumer Reports says rather than constantly telling your child to put their tablet down, get in the game and use it as a way to power up communication.

Seven-year-old Brynn Davis would like to teach her mom how to play her favorite video game.

"So she can play a game with me and we could have lots of fun," Brynn said.

She's onto something. Consumer Reports Bree Fowler says rather than try to pull the plug on your kid's interest in gaming, "maybe sit down and play with them like you play a board game or play catch outside," she said.

Fowler says parents often get hung up on whether a game is "educational." But many games can be used to teach valuable lessons.

"Especially the role playing games are all about problem solving and about making decisions," Fowler said.

Arizona State University's Center for Games and Impact agrees, claiming well-crafted video games foster "critical skills necessary for navigating an interconnected, rapidly changing 21st Century world."

Alayna Davis, the mother of four, finds this to be true. She says the games her kids play are interactive, allowing them to play with each other or play with their friends remotely.

"You're still reaching out and forming relationships through those games as well," she said.

With a new baby, she doesn't get to play along much, but she does keep a close eye, asking questions along the way.

"It sparks the conversation that can lead into more, you know, just communication with your kids," Davis said.

Fowler says, "You can ask questions about why does the character go there, why is it important to pick up these power ups. Kids love to explain, they love to teach and they love to feel like you respect them as an intelligent person."

And of course even if you are playing with your kids, you still want to monitor the amount of screen time they're getting and make sure the content is age appropriate.
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)