Video games instil amazing qualities in children. They spark curiosity and thankfulness with beautiful interactive landscapes. They nurture compassion and courage through adrenaline adventures played through other people’s eyes. They plant seeds of resilience and patience with their challenging quests and puzzles. They invite reflection and questioning with evolving stories of the unexpected.
But with the NSPCC warning of Fortnite child-predators, the American Psychological Association citing games as a risk factor for violent behavior and the World Health Organisation naming gaming disorder as a clinically significant syndrome, parents are increasingly worried by what video games are doing to their children. Those potential benefits are lost amongst arguments, not stopping when asked, spiraling screen time, altered behaviour and escalating costs.
Taming Gaming is an unflinching look at the impact of gaming on family life by journalist and parent Andy Robertson, drawn from years of covering this topic for newspapers, radio and TV. It compiles the latest research and advice from psychologists, industry experts, parents, schools and children’s charities.
Discover what really happens when a child plays a video game. Face fears about screen time and start steering your child’s gaming from violence, expense and addiction towards fulfilling, connecting, affordable experiences.
You don’t need to be a gamer, or want to play games but to guide your child to gaming health you need to understand the actual benefits and dangers of gaming rather than the worrying headlines and reactionary news.
The second half of the book offers simple to follow, tried and tested Family Gaming Recipes. They are a super easy way to discover games that are beneficial rather than stressful for your family.
Each beautifully laid out recipe tells you everything you need to know with jargon-free instructions that take the guesswork out of gaming together. Accessing this broad diet of cutting edge games your children will love, enables you to help them navigate this unavoidable part of life.
This book sets the bar high for your child’s video game health, with insights from the latest video game research. It helps you tame the games your child plays, by equipping you to make informed decisions, engage in this area of life and guide their gaming diet.
Andy Robertson has seen this approach make a big difference in many families, with his own children, other families he’s worked with on his YouTube channel FamilyGamerTV and in mainstream media like The One Show. In a matter of weeks, parents have gone from stress and arguments to a healthy varied diet of gaming and other activity.
About the Book
Join the groundswell of parents stepping up to tame the games that their children play and gain all manner of benefits. Support Taming Gaming to help spread this grassroots movement to parents across the world.
*Cover art and page design is conceptual, for illustrative purposes, and may be different to the final product.
Video games promised to transport my children to magical lands, seed imagination, inspire competition and tell them stories in new ways. But the reality was arguments over stopping, family rooms full of plastic peripherals and constant pestering for the next new game before they’d done enough washing up to pay for the last one.
I wanted to close the door and leave them to it; or lock them in a high cupboard — the games, not the children. But that would admit that the games had won. Besides, I was a games journalist, damn it!
A decade later I’m glad I didn’t back away. My presence in my children’s gaming world has been as important as at the dinner table, on woodland walks or trips to the cinema. They didn’t need my help to play the games, quite the reverse in fact, but they did need me to model a healthy relationship with them.
Children are expert players. Digital interactive spaces are their native habitat. They swipe to unlock before they can write, tap and drag before they can read. They are highly literate in the language of interaction. They are instinctively drawn to video games as experiences made for their benefit.
But beyond this veneer of confidence and ability they are as woefully ill-equipped to cope with this increasingly commercial and competitive space, as they are to handle supermarket shopping, illness, football crowds, failing at tests or the death of a grandparent.
Children need parents to show them how to navigate video game experiences. They need advice on how to cope with losing. They need guidance on how to walk away before they throw the controller. They need grown-ups present to make their games more than just play. They need adults to suggest more interesting or ambitious games they hadn’t heard of or considered playing.
My children haven’t come to me and asked for any of this. They bleat about games: “just one more go”, “it’s not fair”, “there’s nothing else to do”, “he’s cheating”, “I’ve wasted my day” and “everyone else is playing it”.
These people are helping to fund Taming Gaming: Guide Your Child to Video Game Health.