Gaming expert Andy Robertson shift the focus on the issue of screen time from ‘ how much is too much’ to ‘when and why some digital activities can help or harm children’.
Screen time has been an easy short-hand for measuring how healthy children’s relationship with technology is. However, as we get a better understanding of the impact of screens on children it’s a measure that is increasingly outdated.
For instance, the recent LSE report states that “rather than worrying about the catch-all notion of ‘screen time’ it might be better to focus on whether, when and why particular digital activities help or harm individual children”.
We need to understand what is happening on the screens of our children rather than how long they stare into them each day. After all, we don’t worry about plate-time for a healthy diet, but what is on the plate at mealtimes.
Of course, guiding children to a balanced diet with their screens is more difficult than limiting screen time. We want them to experience a range of games, apps, entertainment, education and social media. But how do non-gaming parents do that?
It’s a question I’m hoping to answer in a book I’ve been invited to write for Unbound. Taming Gaming, will help parents guide children towards a broader diet of games by offering simple “gaming recipes”.
These are tried and tested games that mums and dads can access with simple instructions. Each recipe will be clearly laid out and tell you everything you need to know to play, along with some serving suggestions — how other families have enjoyed playing them together.
The recipes will focus on games you may not have heard of, that offer a wide range of experiences and address unusual and interesting topics. The book will also include advice from industry, academic and children’s charities all in one place. It’s full colour and hardback. A one-stop shop for healthy gaming.
As you can see the book is all planned out. I just need enough pre-orders for the publisher to pull the trigger and start producing them.
You can pre-order here
See more advice and resources to help children stay safe online.