A recent survey conducted by ORC International on behalf of Ganz, the creators of Webkinz  reveals that while nearly 50 percent of parents believe technology is a great way to connect as a family, the majority (70 percent) still struggle with keeping up with their kids saying it’s time consuming, expensive or endless. To help conquer this divide, and timed with National Family Week (Nov. 18-24, 2012), the creators of Webkinz suggest dedicated co-play with parents and kids via their online or social platforms to bring families together.
The idea of co-play, or playing together with family, has changed with the proliferation of technology. While family time used to require parents to be in the same place with their kids, advances in technology, gaming and social media now allow families to play together across distances. In fact, 11 percent of parents surveyed use online games to interact with family when away from home. Additionally, frequency of online gaming clocks in with 36 percent of parents surveyed playing online games with their kids at least once a week. This number increases to 50 percent with younger parents (aged 18-34), indicating that this trend in co-play will continue.
“Parents are starting to realize the benefits of playing online with their kids, but often don’t know how,” said Howard Ganz, president of Ganz and creator of Webkinz. “At Ganz, we’re evolving to stay up with these changes with new platforms for Webkinz. Now, parents can play Webkinz Friends™ on Facebook or their iPad at work or on the road, and transfer prizes to their kids who are playing on the home computer or an iPad, facilitating co-play for the modern, tech-savvy family.”
For parents looking for tips on how to play together as a family online, Webkinz creators offer the following advice based on its 2012 Family Co-Play Survey findings:
- Use a tablet to play games online with kids; they prefer it most out of all mobile device options
- Find games you think are fun and appropriate, and suggest these to play with your children; co-play will help parents keep up with kids and kids connect with parents
- Make an effort to play games with your kids more often; one in five parents admit they could make more of an effort to interact with technology together
- Be patient and take a lesson from your kids; letting them show you how to play a game can help to build their confidence
Ganz, creator of Webkinz World™, pioneered the concept of web-enabled toys pairing a plush toy with the interactivity of an online game. Continuing on the track of innovation, Webkinz Friends , a free-to-play version of the game first introduced on Facebook, is now available on the iPad. In honor of National Family Week, Webkinz is encouraging families to download the Webkinz Friends app and play along-side each other to build their dream Kinzville for their adopted pets and to register more pets in either the iPad game or Webkinz World.