Parents rely on Fortnite to bond with kids during lockdown

Friday 12th February: New research has revealed that parents are turning to online games such Fortnight and Call of Duty to bond with their children during lockdown.

A study of British parents with children aged seven or older* shows that nearly half (45%) are gaming with their kids at least once a week as they seek new ways to pass the time as schools remain closed. That number could be even higher as another quarter (26%) say that they wish they could play games with their son or daughter, but just can’t get their head around them.

For many other parents gaming has revealed their competitive streak. The poll, undertaken by connectivity provider TalkTalk, uncovered that one in ten (12%) parents admitted to becoming competitive with their children while gaming, which has almost certainly led to a broken controller or two.

Over the past year and three lockdowns in England alone, TalkTalk has seen a huge increase in people using the internet to keep occupied with hobbies like gaming – in fact, average data usage increased by 50% from November 2019 to November 2020**. Furthermore, 2020 saw the number of devices connected to the internet at home jump by 8%***, as more people purchased consoles to keep themselves entertained. So it’s no surprise that 37% of parents say that fast, reliable connectivity is more important than ever.

However, despite gaming’s growing popularity among parents, many admit they have plenty more to learn. 45% rated their gaming knowledge as either poor or terrible and nearly three quarters (72%) said they struggled to understand the gaming language their children use such as “noob” and “camping”.

A third (28%) said they wished they understood what the phrases meant, so they could enjoy them with their children.  

Gaming journalist, parent and TalkTalk ambassador, Ellie Gibson, sympathises with parents struggling to understand gaming slang:

“As a parent I understand the world of gaming can be daunting, but it's worth learning the lingo and getting involved, as there's so much fun to be had. Play is a hugely important part of kids' development, and gaming together has loads of benefits. It's a great way to connect, and some of my happiest memories with my sons are from playing games together.

A fast, reliable internet connection is helpful for making gaming sessions run smoothly. If only it could also help me beat my nine year-old at Mario Kart."

That’s why TalkTalk has teamed up with Ellie and professional gamer Ali-A – who has more than 17 million subscribers to his gaming YouTube channel – to help parents make sense of the language of gaming. Watch as pro gamer, Ali-A and gaming journalist Ellie Gibson explain some of the most used gaming slang here.

Ali-A said: “One of the things I love most about the gaming community is its never-ending ability to come up with a new word or phrase for every facet of gameplay. While it may seem intimidating, gaming can be very sociable, and I’d encourage every parent to give it a go. Finding new ways to connect online has never been more important and I’ve loved teaming up with connectivity provider TalkTalk to help parents make sense of gaming language.” 

Gary Steen, Managing Director of Technology, TalkTalk, said: “While online gaming has been growing in popularity for some time, 2020 saw it hit new heights.”

“Fast, reliable connectivity is more crucial than ever before, that’s why we’re investing in new technologies that deliver even faster speeds to homes across the country. Our network has been designed to deal with absolute peak traffic which means you can be confident in your connection when gaming, even if you don’t have the same confidence in your ability to understand the language that comes with it”.

For more information on TalkTalk Fibre Broadband:


*Mortar Research study of 1000 UK parents of children aged 7 or above that play video games, December 2020 

** Data sourced from more than 700K TalkTalk consumer customers.

*** Data sourced from more than 700K TalkTalk consumer customers.