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Overcoming The
Fear Of Online
Gaming
Author: Rob Prior

08/04/2022 / 23 months ago / Author: Rob Prior


As a parent, one of the worst things about video games is that you often hear about them second hand, through your children or even worse through click-baiting fear-filled headlines. So when my 7-year-old daughter came home from school wanting to play Roblox, I immediately said a very firm “No.”

Over the next few weeks, she continued to ask and I continued to tell her that there were other games that she could play and that I just wasn’t sure that Roblox was “something for our family.” It was only when I observed her missing out on a conversation with school friends that I properly understood why she was so keen to play and I begin to question my own thought process in refusing her this social pleasure.

I wasn't sure Roblox was something for our family.

After reading up about the game on the database and considering my reasoning for a few days, I realised that I was most likely acting out of illogical and most likely ill-informed fears. I decided to sit down with my daughter, so that we could have an open conversation and decide on a positive way forward.


First, we would unlock some of the parental settings on her Xbox account, so that she could access Roblox, but in a way that I still felt was safe. Then we would play some of the games together, so that I could see what the games were like, so we could enjoy them together and talk about any challenges that she faced.

I quickly realised that much of the content was completely appropriate and began to like the creativity that the game so obviously inspires in people. We enjoyed trying out some games together.

Cursorblade

Release Date: 06/11/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Cursorblade is a shooting game where you are a mouse cursor and use your mouse motion to move, attack and deftly dodge the deluge of bullets. Control is one-to-one with your mouse, in this way, you move through the anthropomorphized flora and fauna to...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Adopt Me! is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way, it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Pixels and Weather

A Short Hike is an adventure traversal game where you play the penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real-time the impostor...

Jailbreak (Roblox)

Release Date: 01/08/2017

Out Now: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Jailbreak is a popular Roblox game about escaping prison and getting away with various crimes. Based on the popular Prison Life and Madcity Roblox games, but adds a large open world in which you could drive vehicles, earn weapons and rob various...

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Release Date: 25/04/2020

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where you live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game...

Unpacking

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Hand-Made and Pixels

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out where...

Webbed

Release Date: 09/09/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Webbed is a running and jumping game with a twist - you play a spider who can make webs, swing, climb and all the while creating music as she goes. It follows the story of our happy little spider on an adventure to save her boyfriend from a big dumb...

Sneaky Sasquatch

Release Date: 30/07/2019, updated in 2022

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World

Sneaky Sasquatch is an adventure game where you sneak around in campsites and try to find food from coolers and picnic baskets without getting caught. From this simple premise grows a game with endless ways to play and explore its open world: race, play...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Out Now: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...

Roblox (Series)

Release Date: 15/06/2016, updated in 2022

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Roblox is a series of games where amateur game-makers create simple online games that often mimic real-world grown-up scenarios, like working in a pizza restaurant, surviving natural disasters, escaping prison, scuba diving or playing hide-and-seek. The...

Toca Life: World

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Open World

Toca Life: World is part of a series of games that comprise what are essentially toys in electronic form. They build on the Sago Mini games for 6-10-year-old children. Recreating interactive everyday settings like shopping,...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Stormworks: Build and Rescue is an open-world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air-sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using its block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Fortnite is an online multiplayer shooting game where 100 people compete to be the last player standing. You stealthily traverse the world to collect weapons, out-maneuvering and out-gunning your opponents, while a storm gradually shrinks the playable...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Minecraft is an open-world adventure where you collect, craft and construct structures and items. Play involves exploring the world to find resources and good locations to build. Some of the best aspects of the game are less well known; along with the...

MeepCity (Roblox)

Release Date: 23/02/2016

Out Now: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

MeepCity is a popular Roblox Game. It's a social game where you role-play a character to interact with other people and customise their looks. Like Toontown Online or the now-defunct Club Penguin, MeepCity is an evolving virtual space for players to...

Subnautica

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Teardown

Release Date: 29/10/2020, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Teardown is a creative traversal game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Play involves knocking routes through the destructible buildings to set an escape route to steal the key cards. It’s an unusual game because...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. Play involves exploring the island, using the bird song you hear to find and photograph all manner of real-world birds. It stands out...

Welcome to Bloxburg (Roblox)

Release Date: 01/11/2014

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Welcome to Bloxburg is a simulation Roblox game where you take on daily activities in a fictional city. Drawing on gameplay from The Sims, you care for your character and keep their mood positive, by building and customizing your house, learning skills...

Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

Hello Neighbor (Series)

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Hello Neighbor is a stealth survival game with a horror feel where you try and sneak into the basement of your neighbour’s house to uncover a "horrible secret". The game responds to your strategy by setting traps along paths the player followed in...

Raft

Release Date: 23/05/2018

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night

Raft is a survival game where you work to build a raft while stranded at sea. You start the game on a small raft with only a hook made of old plastic, which you use to pull in floating barrels and planks of wood.

Impostor (Roblox)

Release Date: 17/09/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Impostor is a space survival game like Among Us. It is a community-created version of that official game on Roblox as Impostor, but also on Minecraft as a couple of minigames called Among Us and Impostor. The Roblox game is a version of Among Us for...

Biomutant

Release Date: 25/05/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Biomutant is an open-world role-play adventure about a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of a Zelda game, but in a broken-down steampunk aesthetic and with political...

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Tracks The Train Set Game

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Tracks The Train Set Game is a digital version of wooden toy train sets, without the costs of buying more and more track pieces. You build your toy train set and towns and then jump into the driver's seat and drive the train, seeing your toy world to...

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try their...

Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2021, updated in 2024

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks and Hand-Made

Townscaper is a creative town-building game where you pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Rainbow Billy

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and strategy...

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Release Date: 04/08/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a whacky obstacle race where up to 60 people compete to get to the end of the course and advance to the next round. Drawing on TV shows like Takeshi's Castle, Wipeout or It's a Knock Out, you have to control top-heavy...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release Date: 28/04/2017, updated in 2022

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a go-kart racing game where you race against Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power-ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic but still requires skills to do well.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a kart racing game with a difference - You play on the Switch but use it to control a real-life Mario Kart that races around the floor of your living room. You see the race from the view of the car beamed back to the...

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you play a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Assemble With Care

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Assemble With Care is a narrative puzzle game from the makers of Monument Valley and is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family...

Stray

Release Date: 19/07/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Stray is an adventure traversal game about a cat lost in a futuristic city where robots live. You guide your feline friend in and out of buildings, across roads and generally poke your nose in to see what is going on.

It Takes Two

Release Date: 26/03/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells the story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly traps the clashing couple in them. You and a friend...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Out Now: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.


My daughter loves the simplicity and social nature of the games. She has started to add her school friends to her online roster, which has allowed her to feel more connected to conversations in school. I have also been able to see how mature and able to self-moderate she has become (despite her still relatively young age).

Combining this with regular joint play sessions has allowed me to overcome my initial fears and given my daughter new experiences in a safe environment.
Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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