The panelists included:
Soleil Moon Frye @moonfrye (not only an actress but also an amazing mom and author)
Nicole Armstrong @ATVI_Family (Activision's Marketing Director)
Patricia Vance @OKtoPlay (President of the ESRB)
Suzanne Kantra @Techlicious (Blogger).
The overall theme was about playing with your kids and using video games as another tool in your parenting tool kit. I learned quite a bit about how video games can be a positive part of your Family Game Night and some unexpected benefits of playing them.
Some of the benefits were:
*Game players perform higher in perceptual and cognitive tasks, and are often more creative
*Video games can promote cooperation; gamers spend 80% of their time failing, encouraging resilience
*62% of gamers play collaboratively, games teach everyday skills including promoting teamwork!
* Studies show that video games may help kids with anger issues, & those with depression
*Girls who play games w/parents are better behaved, feel more connected w/their families (BYU study)
Another very informative part of the session was how the ESRB does their ratings. They now have a 3 part system: Age Rating, Content Descriptors, and Interactive Elements. All box games have rating summaries to provide parents with insights into what was seen in the game to trigger that particular rating.
Of course, parents need to be involved in monitoring their children's game time and game choices. They had some great tips for moms and dads such as limiting game time, keeping consoles in common areas , making use of parental controls, and checking out the specs on sites such as Common Sense Media and Plugged In before purchasing.
You can check out the full video of the event here:
It certainly wouldn't be Family Game Night without the games. Activision has some hot new releases that just might be on your kids' wish lists.
Here are some of my particular favorites:
You can find some great deals on these at Target for your gamers this holiday season!
Which games are on your kids' holiday wish lists?
Disclosure: I received a goody bag for attending this event online. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. For more info. see my full Disclosure Policy.