Since the advent of home video gaming, parents have had a wary relationship with how much time their kids have been spending on their consoles, as well as wondering what they're playing! Over the years, there have been many needless moral panics around certain releases, coupled with genuine concern over video game addiction. The past decade has, however, seen a change in perception. Many academic studies have unlocked the positive benefits of playing video games at any age. Additionally, many original gamers are now parents or even grandparents themselves, a love of gaming becoming a generational affair.
With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing people of all ages to minimize socializing and spend more time indoors, video games have become something of a lifeline for many. A study of the most popular hobbies during the outbreak found that interest in co-operative gameplay went up by 100%. Luckily the days of Pong are long gone, and we can now connect to our friends and family from anywhere on the globe and game together. Gaming with your children is a fantastic opportunity to bond with one another and has a positive impact on their adolescent development - as well as keeping you both entertained. In fact, gaming is good for the whole family with senior players able to expect a host of benefits from improved emotional well-being to better cognitive function.
In these unprecedented times, video games can keep us mentally healthy and happy, so we've taken the time to collect a selection of titles we think the whole family will enjoy.
Nintendo's long-running series saw a fresh edition titled 'New Horizons' land just as the pandemic struck, becoming lockdown's biggest gaming hit. Within the game, you once again take control of a customizable character and go about living and interacting with a group of cute and colorful anthropomorphic creatures. In 'New Horizons,' the action takes place on a deserted island where you spend your time fishing, shopping, building items, and making friends. It's not hard to see the appeal when shut indoors.
Better still, by using the local multiplayer function, your family members can all reside on the same island, or if using a different console, you can travel to other player's islands and visit them. This charming franchise has already proven a hit with seniors
2019's surprise hit sees you, the player, take on the form of a mischievous goose as he terrorizes an English village. Australian developer House House's charming title is appropriate for pretty much anyone and is filled with wicked humor and fun problem-solving. Even better still, a multiplayer function has now been added so you and your family can cause chaos together.
What if we mixed cars and soccer? This silly and simple concept has seen Rocket League become a huge success. Take control of rocket-powered automobiles and knock giant balls into your opponent's net - simple!
The title's fun gameplay and easy to get behind premise makes it a perfect family activity. While the game has bots your kids can play against, a split-screen multiplayer function means you can take them on anytime too.
Since 1991, Sid Meier's Civilization games have been a must-own for any history lover in the family. Educational and fun, these turn-based titles are centered on building a civilization on a macro-scale. From prehistory to the modern age, you can build cities, focus on what technologies your people should be investigating, and even diplomatically negotiate with other players.
Truly immersive with more incredible features added with each new generation, Civilization is a game to get truly lost in and boasts online multiplayer.
Japanese giant Nintendo always has enjoyed thinking outside of the box, and with Labo, they're allowing you to play WITH the box. Essentially a build kit made of cardboard, Labo enables you to create a piano, fishing reel, and even a motorbike that interacts with their Switch console thanks to motion sensors and its touch screen.
An ingenious combination of DIY crafts and cutting-edge tech, Nintendo has created the perfect gaming kit for parents and children to do together. Playful, creative, and endless fun.
This world-building behemoth is so popular and admired it's even been used in schools. The gaming success story of the past decade - and best-selling game of all time - Minecraft allows players to inhabit a unique blocky world with infinite space. There are no set goals, with the player collecting raw materials to build whatever their imagination desires.
Such open-ended gameplay has had a great effect on many players' creativity and has taught a whole generation the power of teamwork and the environment.
Fast-paced culinary madness is on offer thanks to this fantastic co-op cooking game. The game's aim is simple, you and your fellow chefs (teammates) must prepare, cook, and serve up a wide range of delicious orders before your hungry customers angrily leave.
A great party game that even features a shared controller mode to keep you and your family on your toes. Not only is Overcooked one of the best indie titles of recent years, any way to get your children interested in cooking is a good thing.