One-third (33%) of gamers in South Africa are ashamed of how much they game and hide it from their parents.

This is according to global research commissioned by Kaspersky and conducted by Savanta in November last year, which looks at gaming in 2020 across 17 countries and 5 031 respondents, and considers what dynamics between gamers and their parents have changed and what can be done to break down barriers and stigmas.

According to the gamers surveyed, this gaming shame is due to stigmas that remain around it, such as “bad for your health” (55%) or “rotting your brain” (56%).

The biggest disappointment for gamers is that while parents appreciate many of the positives – creativity (55%), social skills (33%), problem solving (50%) – they are less able to engage with them about their passion, mainly because gameplay and the social elements of gaming are so different to the likes of movies and music.

In fact, half (54%) believe that if their parents “got” gaming, their relationship overall would be better.

Andrew Winton, vice president: marketing at Kaspersky, says: “Gaming has provided huge support to many people this past year; offering solace, relief and friendship in difficult times. But for many families, the negative perceptions of gaming can be very counter-productive in enabling open dialogue and building relationships. We hope that the wise words from these mums will help others start to have better and more positive conversations between gamers and parents.”