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Parents' and children's views on whether active video games are a substitute for the 'real thing'

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2014, 00:00 authored by Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, Nicky RidgersNicky Ridgers, Lisa HannaLisa Hanna, Jo SalmonJo Salmon
Background:
Research has examined the energy cost associated with playing seated and active video games (AVGs), but not whether AVGs may benefit fundamental movement skills (FMS) in typically developing children. Improving FMS proficiency is a priority given its association with physical activity. This study aimed to identify children’s and parents’ perceptions of: (1) AVGs as a tool for developing FMS and (2) whether any skills gained during AVG play had potential to transfer to real life.

Methods:
This qualitative descriptive study included 29 parents of children aged 9–10 years who participated in semi-structured telephone interviews and 34 children who participated in six group discussions at school. Interview and discussion group data were recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically.

Results:
Parents and children had different perspectives on the potential of AVGs for FMS, which largely rested on different views of ‘reality’. Parents felt AVGs were not a substitute for the ‘real thing’, and therefore had limited FMS benefits. Overall, parents thought any FMS gained through AVGs would have poor transferability to ‘real life’. In contrast, children had a more fluid and expansive view of reality which incorporated both ‘real life’ and ‘virtual’ space. Whilst children could articulate limitations of AVGs for skill learning, they still reported extensive use of AVGs as a learning tool for movement skill, and considered that skill acquisition was highly transferable.

Conclusions:
Despite contrasting beliefs from parents and children, children used AVGs for FMS learning. Future research needs to determine whether actual FMS benefits are gained through AVGs.

History

Journal

Qualitative research in sport, exercise and health

Volume

6

Issue

3

Pagination

366 - 381

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

2159-676X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Taylor & Francis