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New research has revealed that Australian parents are increasingly looking to digital entertainment such as video games or streaming services to build family ties, with 1 in 2 (49%) parents claiming these shared experiences have a positive effect on family bond building.

The study, commissioned by Xbox and conducted by Telsyte, reveals that digital bonding activities such as playing video games or streaming movies together are growing with 40 per cent of parents claiming that ‘digital bonding’ is an important part of family life. This increases for parents with older children, with 56 per cent of parents with 13 to 15-year-old children and 62 per cent of parents with 16 to 17-year-old children highlighting shared digital bonding experiences are important for the family. According to Telsyte, 44 per cent of Australians claim the Internet is the main way they source entertainment content, and parenting is also shifting with this move to a more digital lifestyle.

The most popular activities amongst these families include playing videogames together (40%), and streaming films or TV (34%). A shared digital experience in 40 per cent of Australian parental households, playing videogames together is one of the fastest growing activities, with around a third (35%) claiming they are doing it more often than the previous year.

Jeremy Hinton, Business Group Lead for Xbox Australia commented: “It’s clear that families around Australia are turning to technology to help facilitate quality time together. Whether it’s streaming their favourite TV show, or bonding through a shared experience in a videogame, digital entertainment has the power to create long-lasting memories and bring generations together.”

Half of all parents surveyed (48%) claimed that taking part in a shared digital experience had a positive impact on their relationship with their children, which increases to 62 per cent for families that own an Xbox One. Meanwhile, 45% of respondents that play videogames, and the 24% that play mobile games/apps together, say that digital activities have created more conversation amongst the family. In addition, nearly a third of parents (31%) say they would either start playing or play games more often with their children, to further encourage family bonding.

“As children continue to grow up with technology at their fingertips and families increasingly turn to digital experiences, it’s important for Xbox to support this trend in shared experiences and help bring families together in a safe and inclusive way. We’re continuing to make Xbox the best place for all entertainment needs as well as the most inclusive online environment we can through Xbox Live. Through regular updates to parental controls and safety features, options like the new Copilot mode, new accessibility settings and features such as Clubs, ensure you have the option to play with like-minded individuals in a safe online environment,” Hinton added.

The research highlights that age or generation has an influence on the shared digital experiences you are most likely to take part in. Parents of millennials/Gen Y kids are most likely to take part in video games, streaming and browsing YouTube, whilst those bonding between Generation X and baby boomers within the family are more likely to browse the Internet together or connect on social media. Additionally, mums (45%) are just as likely to turn to videogames as dads (55%), whilst the average age of the parent gamer was 42 with the most popular genres including action, sports and puzzles. More than half of families with Xbox Ones (54%) also played online games with their children. 

Pat (Snoogs)

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