You know all of those stories that have been floating around forever about the effects of gaming on young children and how won't someone please think of them? This is another one of those, but as a change of pace it's awesome instead of stupid. Bonus points: it's all about the lady gamers.
You know the arguments: games corrupt the minds of youth to make them amoral violent psychopaths with a penchant for beating hookers. Or something. Professor Sarah Coyne from Brigham Young University (yes, that BYU, but stick with me on this) has conducted a study whose results fly in the face of that bit of conventional wisdom. According to a study of 287 families with adolescent children, daughters who gamed with their parents "behaved better, felt more connected to their families, and had stronger mental health." For the sons, video gaming with family wasn't a significant factor for those same categories.
The games selected were age-appropriate, so no "M" titles were used, and the girls seemed to favor more cooperative games such as Rock Band and Mario Brothers (though which Mario entry is not specified), while the boys went with the more directly competitive titles like Halo and Call of Duty.
It's worth acknowledging that this is a small study and it's entirely possible that this is the result of correlation, not causation, and they explicitly admit that "It's also possible that the time boys play with parents doesn't stand out as much because they spend far more time playing with friends." Still, it's a fascinating result and I like that they plan to explore the basis behind these differences with further exploration in their overall study. Hopefully this study will surface again with even more interesting results. In the meantime, mom and dad, get your girl to game!