This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Windows Blog.It’s that time of year when 4 p.m. starts to feel like midnight. The days of being able to go outside and exercise or play are waning as it gets colder, wetter and darker. But families looking for ways to find some relief indoors can turn to video games as a way to take a communal break, creating new memories and developing some surprising skills. The Entertainment Software Association, which conducted research in the U.S., shows “Parents are using video games to connect with their kids…In fact, more than half of parents (55%) say they play games with their children at least once a week, and 92% pay attention to the games their child plays.” “We advocate gaming as part of a balanced lifestyle,” says Dave McCarthy, corporate vice president for Xbox Product Services. “What we find universally true about gaming is it has some great qualities that really help people through this time, like problem solving and conflict resolution. There's also a degree of escapism that I think people find a lot of solace in right now, the ability to just shut off all the chaos that's going around us and step into the shoes of a character that you really relate with and go on an adventure with them.” Read the rest at Microsoft Stories.