Parents nationwide have been dealing with the challenges of raising children while complying with social-distancing regulations. Homes have become classrooms, playgrounds, sports fields, and libraries as parents try to entertain their children. However, when parents get tired of constant attention, many have turned to screens to distract the kids.
But with nationwide controversies surrounding children’s gaming obsession, many parents may be wondering about the games flooding the children’s screens. Some answers may come from a new study from Insight Pest Solutions about the most popular video games nationwide both before and during quarantine.
The new study showed that during quarantine, the nation’s top games, as measured by the game’s popularity across states on Google Trends, were Fortnite and Overwatch. Both of the top two games were given approving scores for users 14+ at least from Common Sense Media, but concerns about some cartoon violence as well as online interaction with strangers on the game may be concerning to some parents.
Notably, more younger-child-oriented games gained COVID-19 popularity on mobile devices. The study’s findings on the most popular mobile app games during quarantine showed winning games like Sonic Dash, Despicable Me: MR, and Doodle Jump, all of which center around popular children’s characters and themes. In fact, the popular minion characters of Despicable Me: MR were even recently featured in a COVID-19 educational video for children from the WHO.
But, given reports on how ingrained video games can become in a child’s routine, parents may also be curious about video games that were popular before COVID-19. As we can expect kids to keep playing after the pandemic subsides, it is definitely effective to look back on popular “all-time” trends.
According to the study, the most popular traditional video game of all time (since 2004) was The Original Sonic the Hedgehog, a hopeful winner for parents looking to steer their children away from video game violence. And, given the popularity of Sonic iterations over quarantine and even the recent Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it looks like kids today will certainly be able to join in the societal love for the speedy blue cartoon.
Of course, given that most kids today feel natural with a smartphone in their hands, it’s also important to look at the most popular mobile app game of all time. For this data, the winning app was Angry Birds, the slingshot game that took the country by storm a few years ago. Once again, the fairly non-violent nature of the game must be reassuring to parents, and a partnership between the game and educational app DuoLingo may even have some parents joining in on the fun.
We still have a lot to learn about video games, kids, and how parents manage screen time. Still, many of the most popular video games can provide fun and, in some cases, learning opportunities. So grab a controller or phone with your favorite young gamer and good luck!