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A growing complaint filed against technology now and then is that it draws people apart. Most adults yearn to watch their children playing and roaring with laughter. However, technology did the opposite. People prefer staying on screens instead of spending time with their families.

Simultaneously, there is an expanding body of research that proves the contrary. They provide insight into how technology can be a proximity generator among families.

Durkin and Barber (2002) explain how gamers tend to have greater family closeness than those who do not play games. In particular, gaming together can produce strong bonds between fathers and sons (Jansz & Martens, 2005).

Notable Concerns

Addressing how virtual games can interfere with family life and daily functioning is essential. Some other damages may include gambling, addiction, reduced academic performance, and negative impact on relationships.

For example, Mitchell et al. (2005) observed that 15% of the people in their study with internet addiction were actively involved in online gambling and video games. There are numerous findings on how gamers may suffer from social anxieties, eyesight issues, anger control problems, etc.

Thus, before leaping this train, families must recognize when video games are harmless entertainment and when they become a real problem.

4 Fun Games Online for Families

From apps that make trivia nights accessible and interactive to online games that spark creativity, here are four games to make family times more fun:

1. Monopoly

Available on iOS, Android
The ever-popular game Monopoly has finally switched from board to screen in the latest release from Hasbro. This newest app, developed by Marmalade Game Studios, has smoothly transitioned and features the board's same functions.

Thorough instructions are provided so your kids can understand even if they are playing it for the first time. You’d be surprised to watch them buy and sell estates like tycoons. On top of that, the fantastic 3D animations enhance the overall vibe of this game. The delightful background music accompanying each game is a perfect pick to put a smile on one’s face while they play.

You don’t need to sit together in front of one screen. Instead, you can play it with your cousins and grandparents sitting miles away in their homes. This game exposes those tiny brains to money management and turn-taking property business.

Monopoly can become a game you can play on long car journeys. Buy and build enterprises with your little ones on the go!

2. Words with Friends

Available on iOS, Android
Juggle up those lazy brain cells with Words with Friends. As the name suggests, it is a word game to test players’ language and spelling skills.

Developed by Zynga, this game brings you multiple ways to play. You can play a match against random opponents, fictional characters, friends, and family. In this game, players must develop a strategy to effectively place letters on the colored tiles on a board that offers extra points. They can instantly look up the definition of a word and confirm the spellings using the tools provided.

A chat option integrated with this app makes it easy to have a conversation with your opponents. Family members can tease and have fun conversing while they play together.

3. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Available on iOS, Android

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a free-to-play simulation app that allows you to build and customize your camp. You can also find your friends through Facebook or Twitter plugins and invite them to your camp.

You initiate with an empty campground that Shih Tzu Isabelle gives you, and the goal is to invite all your animal friends to hang out. It provides access to the entire catalog of animals you can befriend, relate, and dress. Crafting these items with creativity is new in this version of Animal Crossing.

Developed by Nintendo, this game is free to start, but there are in-app purchases to enhance the experience. When the game first popped into stores in 2017, there were many shortcomings reported by the early players. The developers, however, figured out a way to weed those out. The new version found a way to keep things sustainably interesting. Plus, you can also connect with your friends and family.

4. Touchdown Pro

Available on iOS, Android
Unlimited Gamez Mo successfully delivers exciting games enhancing players' social skills. Games like Touchdown Pro allow the players to match the computer, other players, or their family members.

The scene in this game is that of an ordinary game. You are on the pitch, aiming for a touchdown. But you must beware as other players are trying to tackle you. The same goes for you. You must grab and embark on the players on your way to victory.

The developing platform allows you to access hundreds of games at a limited subscription fee. It is plausible to question how this game's intensely competitive nature increases the player's social skills. The fact that other teams aim to achieve the same goals motivates them to become cohesive and better collaborators.

According to Ronda Klosterman, a PE teacher at St. Joseph Elementary School in Long Beach, California, “Many cooperative games teach children to problem solve as a team and help them learn the lifelong skills of working for the common good of the group."

Therefore, Touchdown Pro is incredible for boosting the players' family bonds and the generic social skills.

The Takeaway

Despite the common belief that gadgets pull families apart, games like these force us to think on different lines.

Typically, kids spend the entire noon bickering at each other and bonding in a strangely attractive manner while playing video games. They work together to battle against Kirby or Pacman. Or squeal with joy when crushing penguins with a fire extinguisher.

Add parents to the equation, and the entire family witnesses massive rewards. A recent study from the University of California states that families who game together report a higher level of closeness and satisfaction.

To sum it up, it is about time you harness the power of video games to erase the distance between your family members. If kids disagree on spending an afternoon at lunch with cousins, go for alternative measures.

After all, progressive times call for progressive efforts. Right?