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Report – Research 5 & 6

Posted on: Wednesday 24 July 2019 12:55am

Research 5 and 6 focused on the trends in familial co-consumption of content and possible ways to improve con-consumption experiences. In today’s media landscape, digital media dominate daily habits for both children and adults. Research 5 looked at how grandparents fit into the picture of children’s playtime. Additionally, it examined how the difference in play styles between the generations could be reconciled with today’s technology. Research 6 talked about trends in familial co-viewing of content and attitudes of parents and children in different activities.

Takeaways:

  • Grandparents are increasingly likely to join in on digital gaming
  • Smart toys are a really good way to bridge that gap
  • Parents are feeling guilty about not spending enough time with their children
  • TV is the most popular co-consumption activity

The first session, titled Gaming Grannies, was presented by Amanda Gummer from Fundamentally Children. In today’s media landscape, digital technology is becoming ubiquitous. Grandparents must therefore adapt in order to bond with their grandchildren. Naturally, these interactions between the generations have changed dramatically in the past few decades. This research looked at the way play has changed, particularly tech play. It surveyed grandparents’ approach and attitudes towards smart toys (toys that also involved screen-based play). The research found that less than half of grandparents enjoyed playing digital games with their grandchildren, due to a lack of confidence in navigating the technology. At the same time, grandparents tended to steer their grandchildren away from solitary screen-based play. Smart toys such as ‘Beast of Balance’ offer a bridge between the difference in play style between the generations. The tactile aspect allows grandparents to quickly learn the gameplay. On the other hand, the screen-based component offers a “cool” aspect that children will enjoy.

The second session, titled Co-viewing, Co-playing, Co-everything. Wishful Thinking or Real Family Behaviour, was presented by Maurice Wheeler from Kids Industries. This research focused on the sharing of content between parents and children. One thousand parents with kids aged 4-12 were surveyed and in-home sessions were carried out. It found that today’s parents are very stressed, as they are having a hard time balancing work and spending time with their children. Ironically, they are spending more time with their children as children are spending more time at home. This created a concept of “alone together”, where they are in the same household but are not spending quality time together. The familial hierarchy is also changing, where parents are becoming their children’s “best friends”, rather than authoritative figures in the home. This means that the co-consumption of content is ever more important. In terms of specific activities, broadcast TV is found to be the most popular co-consumption activity. However, neither parents nor children find it the most enjoyable. It is only popular because of the ease and passiveness. When it comes to enjoyment, parents are willing to participate in activities they do not enjoy, as long as they get to spend time with their children. Finally Maurice offered pros and cons of creating content specifically aimed at co-viewing. On the one hand, appealing to parents means easier to market. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to create something that satisfies viewers from two different demographics.

 

Report: Benjamin Tang

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