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Free Realms

Parents seeing their kids benefit from playing games, according to Sony Online Entertainment survey.


Results From Sony Online Entertainment and Yahoo! Survey Available This Week

SAN DIEGO, CA – Oct. 16, 2008 – Parents across America are recognizing the benefits of their children playing videos games, according to a new study from Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE). The results, published exclusively in the new November issue of Family Circle magazine, suggest parents are seeing improvements in hand/eye coordination, problem solving and typing skills.

In addition to basic education elements, the survey suggests video games are teaching children to think strategically. The majority of video games require players to follow rules, think tactically, make fast decisions and fulfill numerous objectives to win. This resonates with the 70% of the parents surveyed who have seen their children’s problem-solving skills improve since they started playing video games.

Yahoo!’s website, Shine (, which reaches 10 million women each month, hosted the survey throughout June 2008. The study found that 87% of parents who participated in the survey are spending time playing video games with their children. “Family video game nights are becoming incredibly popular with the variety of games out there,” said Linda Fears, editor-in-chief, Family Circle magazine. “Parents and children of all ages are finding games to play together, no matter what each person’s experience level.”

Other key survey findings from the survey:

• Most (75%) of respondents have attributed educational value and improved hand/eye coordination to video game usage.

• 84% of respondents reported an increase in their child’s typing skills from playing PC/online games.

• 72% of respondents say their kids play games online with other people sometimes or all the time.

• More than 80% of respondents say their children play video games in a common area of the house (i.e., family/living room or computer room).

With the vast majority of games on the market rated E for Everyone (ESRB, 2007), parents have many options when choosing games for their children, an important fact for the almost 80% of parents surveyed who say they purchase all their children’s video games. “The ultimate parental controls are parents themselves,” said John Smedley, president of SOE and father of four.

Many games, including the upcoming free online game Free Realms from SOE, offer opportunities for kids to play online with others. “The good news is that parents are involved with and aware of what their kids are playing,” said Smedley. “The even better news is that parents and kids are playing together.”

For a complete listing of the survey results, log on to

For more information on Free Realms log on to

Survey Methodology

Sony Online Entertainment LLC commissioned Insight Express to conduct an online survey, which was hosted on Yahoo!’s website Shine, of parents whose children are between the ages of 2-17 and play video games in June 2008. A total of 414 parents participated in the survey with a margin error of +/- 4.81% at 95% confidence level.

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development.

About Yahoo! Shine

Yahoo! Shine is a new lifestyle site for women ages 25-54, helping them stay on top of their interests with smart, engaging editorial and a vibrant community. The site covers beauty & fashion, parenting, work & money, sex & love, home, food, healthy living, entertainment, and astrology. It fuses the best lifestyle editorial content from the top publishers, daily content from a dedicated staff of editors and content from users. Yahoo! Shine draws more than 10 million visitors per month. Visit:

About Family Circle

Published 15 times a year by Meredith Corporation, with a circulation of 3.8 million and 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in the world. Family Circle provides smart relevant advice, sensible solutions, and inspiration in a voice that encourages and celebrates success in its pages and online at Family Circle has always been committed to women’s issues and in 1973 became the first women’s magazine to fully underwrite a professional women’s sporting event, the Family Circle Cup, an annual women’s tennis tournament held in April in Charleston, S.C., at Family Circle Magazine Stadium.


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