Nine out of ten parents (92%) recognize that video games provide benefits for their children. This is according to recent research on children’s gaming behavior commissioned by VGFN. The annual survey was conducted with 1058 Dutch parents between the ages of 25 and 60 with a child between the ages of 4 and 17. In addition to acknowledging benefits, parents also indicate that they impose conditions on their child to be allowed to play a video game. Furthermore, parents emphasize an increasing need for information about their child’s gaming behavior.
Benefits and conditions of playing video games
More than previous years, parents recognize that video games can provide benefits for their children. Compared to last year, parents (and especially parents of older children between the ages of 10 and 17) are increasingly (+8%) indicating that playing video games is good for their child’s English language skills. Parents of young children (ages 4-9), on the other hand, more often indicate that video games are good for their child’s creativity. Looking at all ages combined, both English language skills and creativity showed a significant increase compared to the 2022 survey. Most parents also think video games are good for their child’s intelligence (32%) and social skills (31%).
In addition to recognizing that playing video games provides benefits to their children, parents believe it is important to set conditions for play. As in previous years, the majority of parents (66%) consider finishing homework to be the most important condition for playing. Interestingly, this percentage has increased significantly (+12%) compared to last year. In contrast to previous research, parents set as the second most important condition that their child must first clean up his or her room before being allowed to play video games (35%). In addition, parents also set getting good grades (34%) as an important condition.
Parents increasingly need information about their child’s gaming behavior
Almost three-quarters of parents indicate that they are reasonably to well informed about their child’s gaming behavior. Nevertheless, the majority of parents still indicate that they would like to be better informed. Especially parents of young children (4-9 years old) find it very important to gain more insight into their child’s gaming behavior. Questions about their child’s gaming behavior and parenting style are the main questions among parents. These questions cover a variety of topics, but mainly focus on the amount of time children spend playing video games. The survey shows that parents prefer to gather information about this through an informative website.
“From the results of the survey, we see that many parents feel they have enough control over their children’s gaming behavior, but are still curious to learn more.” says Martijn Schenderling of Videogames Federatie Nederland (VGFN). “On our platform www.rulethegame.nl we give parents and caregivers tools in the form of a roadmap, giving tips on how to start the conversation with children. It is recommended that you make clear agreements with your child about video games and occasionally play them yourself.”