Online Games and Family Ties: Influences of Social Networking Game on Family Relationship

Abstract : How do online games impact intergenerational family relationships? To answer this question, we investigated QQ Farm, the most popular online game available on a popular Chinese social networking site. We conducted observations and semi-structured interviews with sixteen pairs of Chinese parents and their adult children. Of the sixteen pairs, seven lived locally; nine pairs lived remotely. The findings of this study suggest that online games provide common conversational topics among local family members and enrich family time. Online games with well-designed shared virtual spaces can also help enhance remote families’ awareness of each other’s real-life activity. For future intergenerational games, we recommend a game design that requires minimal effort, has a ‘healthy’ theme, and provides features, such as an activity log and message board, which help maintain game based family communications.
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Jing Wen, Yong Kow, Yunan Chen. Online Games and Family Ties: Influences of Social Networking Game on Family Relationship. 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2011, Lisbon, Portugal. pp.250-264, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-23765-2_18⟩. ⟨hal-01591813⟩

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