Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Crooked Views and Relaxed Rules: How Teenage Boys Experience Parents’ Handling of Digital Gaming

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Abstract:  Digital gaming is a major part of the current media landscape. Parents employ a variety of practices, such as limiting gaming time and discussing games, when addressing their childrens’ gaming. Yet, there is still a notable gaming-related generational gap between adolescents and their parents. In this qualitative study, gaming-related parenting practices and parents’ and teenagers’ views are examined through a thematic analysis of reports from Finnish, 16–19-year-old, active game players. The results suggest a core tension between elements of protection and understanding. Perceived parental attitudes towards gaming ranged from excessively negative to indifferent to very positive. These attitudes were not static, but instead changed according to life situations and parents’ familiarity with gaming. Young game players’ perceptions and views were also not uniform. Respondents indicated the need for both parental understanding of games and gaming, and parents’ responsibilities in limiting gaming, particularly in the case of younger children. Implications for parenting and future research are discussed.

Keywords:  digital gaming; gaming literacy; media education; parental mediation; parenting



© Mikko Meriläinen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.