Working with Internet Matters on my Taming Gaming book introduced me to the idea that schools, as well as families, would benefit from printed advice about healthy gaming and the tried and tested gaming suggestions.
The book is a chance to dive a bit deeper into the sort of advice you find on Internet Matters but laid out in the highly designed, full-colour pages. Its unique angle is that it is a recipe book for family video games that makes finding exactly the right game for your class, family or community group easier than ever.
Creating a healthy gaming diet for children
It offers clarity on what games are and how to keep them healthy. This enables teachers, parents, and carers to create healthy contexts in which to play, discuss and engage with video games. It helps us avoid the common mistake of just limiting or banning games, which alienates the player from the resources they need to build skills for a digital future.
Owen Wilder, Headteacher, Trinity CofE Primary and Nursery School, recently commented, “with the book, we’ll have great examples of video games to use in lessons as well as healthy age-appropriate games to suggest to our parents.”
Trinity CofE Primary is one of the first schools to take advantage of the offer to get a bundle of the books for the school library and a free electronic version for every parent worth £10. It also means they can ask me questions to cover in the book.
The book includes years of conversations and research with psychologists, industry experts, parents, teachers, schools and children’s charities. It’s carefully laid out like a cookbook, to make it really easy for parents to find games for their children to play, as well as raise the possibility of games they may want to play themselves.
In Mr Wilder’s words, “parents who used to be worried about children playing games, have easy advice on how to make video games a family activity and can play their part in keeping this a healthy family activity.”