Play It Again, Grandma: Effect of Intergenerational Video Gaming on Family Closeness

  • Loretta L. Pecchioni
  • Sanela OsmanovicEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10926)


Population aging, one of the sturdiest demographic trends of the past few decades, is leaving a substantial mark on the relationships and the structure of family. Three and even four generations are now in a position to spend significant parts of their lives together, making it increasingly important to form and maintain strong bonds among older and younger adults in families. One way to achieve this is through shared activities appealing to both sides of the age spectrum. In this study, we examined the potential of joint video gameplay to build or restore intergenerational family relationships. Participants (n = 183), mainly grandparents and grandchildren, were asked to play video games together over a period of six weeks. Before and after the treatment, participants completed a modified version of the questionnaire on the inclusion of the other in self as the measure of relationship closeness, as well as responded to a series of open-ended questions post-treatment. Results indicate a significant increase in the inclusion of other in the self. A comparison group (n = 88), tasked with having conversations with the same stipulations, yielded considerably less significant results. These findings suggest that video games as a shared activity hold the potential to positively impact family relationships by increasing relationship closeness, and thus improve the lives of both younger and older generation.


Older adults Video games Inclusion of other in self Intergenerational gaming Family relationships Interpersonal relationships 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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