Regan McMahon’s kids love video games. McMahon was surprised when she realized that gaming was helping them get along with each other. They weren’t competing much. Instead, they were helping each other and watching one another navigate the games.

I can relate, since one of my favorite pastimes as a child was to watch my dad and my brother play old Blizzard role-playing games, and they would watch me in turn.

My mom never really understood the entertainment value of it, but like McMahon’s daughter, I made some of my best childhood memories from sitting around the computer helping my family fight orcs and goblins. It wasn’t just passive watching, though—this was a joint effort!

A 2009 study found that this is a pretty normal mode of gaming. One pair of gamers helped each other out by taking on different roles—the older sister held the controller while the younger sister offered advice and remembered key pieces of info. Most gamers who are old enough to remember arcades know that co-gaming is a great way to game!

(Source: Common Sense Media)

Keezy Young

Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.