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There are many reasons that children love to play video games. However, most of the talk about this rushes to protect children or accuse video games. This underestimates children and misses many of the reasons they play video games. I was inspired by Luke Billingham and Keir Irwin-Rogers' book on Youth Violence, to find a new way of talking about excessive video game playing that sheds fresh light on its benefits and reasons.

 
24/01/2024 / 4 weeks ago / Andy Robertson

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a new game from Nintendo that introduces parent-like talking flowers that react to the player. It’s a lovely touch, that runs against the usual separation of child-like and grown-up play. As I’ve played through the game with these companions bringing parent-like punctuation to the action, it’s made me wonder why video games are considered a pursuit for childhood, and why play is seen as superfluous to adulthood.

 
07/12/2023 / 10 weeks ago / Andy Robertson

Every month we see millions of parents and guardians visit the site to find out about video games and board games for their families. Many of these are only available on other consoles. This means we see the most popular games that parents would love to see come across to the technology they own.

 
30/08/2023 / 5 months ago / Andy Robertson

As with many things in family life, when video game consoles are new they get a lot of attention. We consider how best to use them and get good value for the family. It’s important to keep these up to date as the family’s needs mature.

 
02/07/2023 / 7 months ago / Andy Robertson

As a video game journalist, father and sometime video game player, I’ve spent the last 20 years around people who put play at the top of their list of important activities. Through YouTube, broadcast on the BBC and writing in Forbes I’ve interacted with millions of children, young adults and grown-ups about their love and of video games.

 
30/05/2023 / 8 months ago / Andy Robertson

It used to be very simple to share video games. You would hand a friend or family member the disc or cartridge and they would take it home to play. With the majority of games being purchased digitally, without a physical box, disc or cartridge, it can seem like game sharing is a thing of the past.

 
26/05/2023 / 9 months ago / Andy Robertson

Hello <>, we know that family budgets are tight, so have been working to find ways to enjoy great video games for less money. Each day we check the prices on our favourite games and update our Video Game Bargains list. This highlights amazing games that are currently discounted, often to less than the price of a coffee. Like everything on Family Gaming Database, it's independent and we don't get a commission. These are simple great prices on our favourite games.

 
19/11/2022 / 15 months ago / Andy Robertson

Hello <>, it's been a while since our last newsletter. We've been busy improving the database to help you find some amazing games to play. If you've not tried it yet, the new Game Finder can find some ideal games for you in just a few questions. We have lots new Lists for surprising ways to play and our new Pathways that tell real stories about positive gaming.

 
27/10/2022 / 16 months ago / Andy Robertson

Thursday May 19 is the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). It's a chance to talk, think and learn about digital access and inclusion. With over One Billion people with disabilities/impairments it's an important subject.

 
19/05/2022 / 21 months ago / Andy Robertson

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.”

 
08/04/2022 / 22 months ago / Rob Prior

I'm Jack and I'm passionate about conservation. You can see how video games led me to this career in my Game Pathway, but I wanted to tell the longer story that starts when I was just 9-years-old.

 
06/04/2022 / 22 months ago / Jack Kelly

It's easy to assume that playing a video game will lead to playing more video games. The common thinking is that the more time in front of a screen, the less likely a child is going to go outside.

 
07/01/2022 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

We don't play games in isolation. Part of the joy and benefit of play is that it embeds itself in our lives and relates to other activities we are enjoying. The benefits we get accumulates and evolves from game to game to game.

 
01/01/2022 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Vote for the Family Video Game Database Game of the Year and win a Nintendo Switch. While other sites will leave the recommendations and choices to expert panels, we wanted to open up our Game of the Year award to our readers. Families are all shapes and sizes, and enjoy all manner of different games. While many smaller titles will be missed by the big outlets, we know that our family readers will vouch for the games they've loved playing all year.

 
07/12/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

I know it's not always easy being the parent of a child who loves video games. This newsletter is here to help. Each month it highlights some amazing games as well as ones to watch out for.

 
01/12/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

If you have a child who’s Christmas wish list is a list of video games, we have some game related gift ideas that aren’t just more games. These are great ways to expand your child’s hobby beyond the screen and discover new creative pastimes.

 
16/11/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

If video games are considered a form of entertainment for children that they will grow out of, the idea that parents need to play games themselves to understand the hobby is absurd. However, if video games are a new form of media, like books, films and music, understanding it first hand is a powerful way for parents and guardians to know how to guide their children.

 
29/10/2021 / 2 years ago / Andrew Kinch

Video games can feel like a hurdle between you and your grandchildren, but here are 5 ways they can help you play together. From sharing interests to laughing together or helping each other win, games are great for intergenerational connection.

 
04/10/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

There is a lot of talk about screen time and setting limits when I’m talking to other parents about gaming children. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t really help me understand how healthy my children’s gaming is. Digital detoxes sound good, but like fit camps when you come home how do you stay healthy?

 
20/09/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

An important step towards healthy family gaming is getting an accurate understanding of the kind of media games are. This gaming inventory is a structured way to start mapping, navigating and guiding this part of your child's life.

 
14/09/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

A big driver of which console you choose may well be the games your children want to play. While the most popular titles, like Fortnite and FIFA are available on all systems, there are some titles that are only available on one particular platform.

 
13/09/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Here's the story of video games, so far, and what sort of kit you need to consider getting to play them. As you can see, much of this technology you probably already own.

 
11/09/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Like most ways to play, video games are fun on your own, but much more fun with other people. Online video games are a positive and connecting way to play. However, as children move into this space it can be hard to know how to protect, support and guide them.

 
25/08/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

As August marches on, summer starts to dwindle. Holiday trips have been taken and we realise that the rather average weather isn’t really going to improve. There’s that fresh early morning nip in the air telling us that autumn is on its way. We are reminded it’s time to start making the transition back to routine and school.

 
23/08/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

It’s been a busy month on the database and we’ve loved discovering new games and creating new lists to help you find them.

 
19/08/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

Managing children’s screen time is top of parental pressures and often talked about topics when it comes to video games. It’s easy to feel like video games take over. Children naturally want to keep doing what they enjoy, even when it’s long past the time they should have stopped.

 
02/08/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

We are still working out what video games are, and how to talk about them. Unlike books or films, we don't yet have a very developed way of talking about the wide-ranging benefits and experiences that video games offer. Over the years I have used different metaphors to help uncover hidden aspects of video games.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

It's easy to assume that video games are too complicated, quick or confusing to be enjoyed by those of us who didn't grow up with them. However, much of this comes from not having the experience and understand of how video games help lead us into their worlds.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Getting the technology set up to access the games in this book – and automatically keep things safe and sensible – isn’t complicated or expensive, although, yes, I know it can seem like it when you encounter it for the first time.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Before a console, it’s worth asking friends and family whether you could borrow one to try it out. Failing that, you can purchase second-hand consoles and older smartphones at a discount price (and often with a shop warranty for peace of mind).

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Online gaming is an increasingly important part of the gaming experience for children. These are games that enable multiple players to collaborate and compete when not sat in the same room. These range from football and car racing with a few other players, to online war games involving hundreds of other players from around the globe.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

If you’re giving a new game console, smartphone, tablet or portable gaming device as a gift to a child, it’s important that you set things up yourself before wrapping that big present.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

As children get older they will likely ask for games that friends are talking about in the playground. There is no rush to get the latest titles or gaming consoles, and before you do it’s good to consider which games are must-haves and which are optional. This will inform which game hardware you decide to purchase. An Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo game console is a good way to keep this simple, as they come with everything you need in one package.

 
27/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

To guide children to healthy video game enjoyment we need to understand them in a holistic way - the games as well as the children. If a child is obsessively reading books, we have a sense that there is something good happening here regardless of the content of the book. We understand that the process of reading has many benefits.

 
26/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

We all have different amounts of time available to play games in our lives. When children come along how much time we have to play games changes again. Games have to fit in around everything else going on.

 
13/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Children arrive as these tiny precious bundles that we are hardwired to love and protect. I remember that first walk with the buggy, the first drive in the car when they were newborns, the first time they ate solid food: terrifying!

 
12/07/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As my children grow up, sometimes all I can see are things I wish I had done better or differently. I know I’ve done a good enough job but parenting is full of ups and downs and we are learning as we go. Each child is different and brings new challenges - and joys!

 
28/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

Here are the games that parents and carers are Googling to find out more about this week. With thousands of parents using the site every day, we have a unique view of what is topping the concerns and interest of family conversation.

 
22/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

'But there's nothing else to do,' is a common refrain from a child who has been stopped from playing yet another hour of video games. 'I just want to chill out with my friends,' is another emotion children point to when their playtime has been limited.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Everything we’ve discussed so far is all well and good, but doesn’t there come a time when enough is enough – or, rather, too much is too much? Engaging with video games, having healthy conversations about them and guiding your child’s play sounds good on paper. But what about children at the extreme end of the spectrum, where common sense and balance has become impossible in the face of obsession?

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Some children love video games more than other forms of play. The common thinking is that they were susceptible to the tricks of a powerful industry with coercive technology. They got distracted from healthier hobbies.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Understanding the role that video games have in a child’s life not only clears space for parents and carers to guide them towards healthy habits but uncovers the benefits that video games have to offer.
Children aren’t stupid. They don’t play video games just because they’re exciting, easy to access and what their friends are doing. They play because of a range of benefits that, being children, they can’t fully articulate.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Video games are relatively new. They may have been around for many years, but we are still only just starting to understand what they are and what that means for us and our children.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Video games aren't what they first appear to be. It's easy to assume they are only junk food, and see our job as minimising them in the lives of children. It's common to see them as powerfully persuasive and tricking children into playing longer than they want to.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

‘If you’re worried about video games’ effects on children, why not just keep them out of the house?’ … ‘You wouldn’t leave your child with a bottle of vodka in their room, so why a video game?’ … ‘It’s simple, read the age ratings and just say no!’ … ‘Just limit them to an hour a day if they’ve done their homework and chores.’ … ‘Say no to the brats.’ … ‘Don’t let games rewire your child’s brain.’

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

If video games invite children to new worlds that build character, sociability, well-being, intuition and intelligence then why do we read so many scary stories about them creating violent behaviour, being addictive, encouraging gambling or enabling unwanted interactions with strangers?

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

The video games I played growing up were offline. If I wanted to play against someone else, I would have to take my console and large, heavy television to their house and fiddle with the network settings before we could play. It was exciting, but the complexity meant it was something for special occasions.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

In the past video games have struggled to maintain profits from young audiences. The industry has pursued a variety of business models, from targeted family games on the Wii to movie tie-ins and selling toys that unlock in-game characters and levels as in Skylanders. This area of the market is still changing at a rapid pace.

 
17/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Addiction is a worrying word for parents and carers of children who play a lot of video games. Children are absorbed by the gaming screen, twitching and grimacing as they play and often unaware of the world around them. They can find it hard to stop when asked to come to the table for mealtimes, do homework or go to bed. They appear to be obsessive and compulsive about their gaming.

 
16/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Video games often involve violent virtual content. The exuberance and excitement of shooting or fighting have been fertile territory for big-budget games, not dissimilar in approach to blockbuster films. Add to this the competitive and interactive satisfaction of hitting a target with a gun and you can see why some video games have been drawn to taking this approach.

 
16/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

With 2,903 games on the database the search tool is a useful way of finding games that suit your family. It's designed for you to select the Age Rating, System, In-Game Purchases, Number of Players and Duration to match the needs and technology of your family.

 
10/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

My son loves Rocket League and as far as I can tell he’s really good at it. But I worry it will end up being a replacement for real sport. When his youth football team came to an end this summer after nine years of Saturday morning matches and weeknight training, I met a bit of a brick wall when I asked what he wanted to do instead. He’d just finished exams and the dangling carrot that had been keeping him going is having lots of time to play Rocket League with no revision to do first.

 
07/06/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

As May is Health Awareness Month we wanted to look at video games through this lens. There is a lot of focus in the media about cutting our screen time to improve our mental health but with so much of our lives functioning via our phones, computers and tablets this isn’t always easy.

 
24/05/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

Like many people, the winter lockdown over the long dark months of January and February had a detrimental effect on my activity levels. I realised that I needed to fully embrace the lockdown walking thing. So I took to trudging around the freezing neighbourhood, feeling more and more like a cliche with each person I passed, also doing the same thing.

 
10/05/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

As a mum reading headlines about video games; I could believe they are all about combat and violence. Video games are reported to lead people into a dark world of violent thoughts and evil behaviours. This is the reputation video games get and one that I used to be afraid of as my children got into gaming.

 
04/05/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

It’s easy to assume video games are entertainment for children that (we hope and pray) they will outgrow. The reality is that games are played by people of all ages and many children will likely play their whole lives -- just as we have continued reading books and watching films as we have got older. This means that an important aspect of caring for a child who loves video games is to try some games for ourselves so we know what they are like.

 
26/04/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

I’m a creative person but I am terrible at drawing and painting, if someone suggested doing a fun art activity, I’d say - 'ummm no thanks!' But if that art activity was based around a video game, I would be much more tempted to give it a go. Not that I’m a big video game player but that the idea of doing art within the parameters of a game makes it feel much more doable.

 
19/04/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

There’s quite a bit of gaming-skill disparity in our house. With me at the bottom of the pile and the husband and kids jostling for the top spots.

 
06/04/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

This week we are going to be sharing some of our favourite games to help you escape. Whether that's a form of virtual travel or escaping to an alternate world, there are loads of games to help you find some new scenery.

 
29/03/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

This week we are going to be sharing some of our favourite games to play together. Whether it's Friday night with the teenagers or Sunday afternoon with toddlers there are a great selection of games to get the family gaming together.

 
23/03/2021 / 2 years ago / Jo Robertson

Here are the games that parents and carers are Googling to find out more about this week. With thousands of parents using the site every day, we have a unique view of what is topping the concerns and interest of family conversation.

 
23/02/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Hi <>, Welcome to the Family Video Game Database February newsletter. It's been a busy month with a lot of new games and trends to tell you about. We also added game prices to the database which, as you can see below, mean we can tell you about some great bargains.

 
22/02/2021 / 2 years ago / Andy Robertson

Here are the games that parents and carers are Googling to find out more about this week. With thousands of parents using the site every day, we have a unique view of what is topping the concerns and interest of family conversation.

 
30/01/2021 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

Having our finger on the pulse of what children are playing, what family are enjoying playing, what parents are worrying about and what new games are being releases means we can keep you ahead in the world of video games. This is what you need to know to guide your child's gaming in healthy directions this month.

 
21/01/2021 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

In addition to the Accessibility section for each game, some systems provide built-in accessibility features. The advantage of these is that they will generally work on every game. The downside is that they are not tailored to a specific gaming scenario.

 
10/01/2021 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

Along with finding games about a particular theme, or for a particular genre, a good way to find games is via the system you own. We have some pages to help you decide which is the best system for your family: We have a series of pages offering an overview of each system's games: Or you can select one of the following systems to browse games:

 
01/01/2021 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

Everything you need to know about getting Minecraft working online for you and your wider family. Which systems support split screen. Getting online with split-screen for more players. Playing with people on different platforms. What subscriptions you need: Realms Plus, Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus, Nintendo Online and Microsoft accounts.

 
18/12/2020 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

It is becoming increasingly popular for children to want a Gaming PC rather than a dedicated Console. This is a computer with a dedicated graphics card to run games and a gamepad or gaming mouse for controls. It offers access to a wider range of games, is useful for other activities like homework, video and music editing or programming and can be upgraded rather than replaced when it's out of date. However, it is a more expensive and complex option than a console.

 
11/11/2020 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

When you are deciding which console to buy for your family there is plenty of advice about which is best: Switch, Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5. This page has all the information to help you make this choice.

 
27/10/2020 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

The Nintendo DS and 3DS/2DS offers a feature for some games where you can play on multiple systems with one copy of the game. This is a great way to save money for multiplayer games.

 
14/05/2020 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

Curated lists of games are a popular way for parents and guardians to find new games for their family to play. Like Netflix's unusual and quirky collections of films, these offer games in categories, themes and groupings that may seem unusual at first, but are carefully designed to highlight a particular aspect of video games.

 
11/03/2020 / 3 years ago / Andy Robertson

Each year we pick a handful of amazing games to suggest to the millions of families who visit the site every month. It's a select club of games that have past our high standards for how good they are for families of different ages.
If your child is ambitious to improve at Rocket League, coaching from an experienced player is an effective way to support their hobby. It’s also an opportunity, with the right kind of coaching, to help them develop healthy habits and a holistic approach to improvement.
  • Players love the friendly coaching that helps them improve in a positive and safe environment.
  • Parents love the holistic approach to improvement that focuses on a healthy lifestyle.

Holistic Approach

Highlights of the work we do include:
  • Structured play rather than endless grinding (Play tips, Drills)
  • Positive plan for physical health (Regular exercise, Balanced diet)
  • Getting enough sleep (Sleep quantity, Sleep quality)
  • Positive Mentality (Resilience to losing, Dealing with toxicity, Sportsmanship)

Proven Results

Coaching from a Super Sonic Legend (SSL) Top100 player with proven coaching experience. This delivers improvement in key areas of your performance:
  • Mechanics
  • Game Sense
  • Decision Making
  • Mentality
We work together in the following ways, to achieve the performance outcomes above:
  • Replay analysis
  • Private matches
  • Training plans
  • Wellbeing actions
  • Key resources

Coaching Rates

We aim to provide training that suits the need of your child and supports them to develop both their play and behaviour in positive directions.
We work with developers and accessibility experts to record a detailed record of the accessibility settings and features in each game on the database. If you are a developer or have accessibility knowledge and would like to add to (or correct) this data please email our editor.
Every month we see millions of parents and guardians visit the site to find out about video games and board games for their families. As they do they can say if they Like, Want or Own the games they find. This page is a live, second-by-second view of what people are Liking, Wanting and Owning right now.
A new partnership between Hookshot Media and the Family Gaming Database API brings detailed accessibility information to reviews and game pages on Nintendo Life, Pure Xbox and Push Square.
Style of Play is the way you can engage with a particular game. This might be with another person in the same room, with an online team or competing against the computer. These are the ways we can play games on our own or with other people.
Every week or so we ask a parent or guardian to write about their journey into this sometimes confusing and scary world of video games. These are real stories of what it's like to parent children who love games. How to deal with the arguments and find healthy ways to guide them to healthy habits and enjoy games together.
Features are our chance to dive deep into the most important video subjects for families. We look into the science of what games are doing to children. We get advice from experts on hot topics like violence, addiction, gambling, strangers and privacy. We provide sections from the Taming Gaming book. These are topics that need time to understand properly, we these are longer and more in depth than our weekly blogs.
As well as video games we also help families find amazing board games to play. Well, we call them board games as there's not a better word, but we really mean, card games, dice games, table top games as well as board games.

 
Andy Robertson

This is our growing library of (91) different Activities that video games have inspired. If your child loves playing games these are a good place to start to expand their interest in new creative, educational, career and outside directions.

 
Andy Robertson

How video games change players varies widely. It depends not only on the game but the player, the context they play in and other Activities they enjoy alongside the game.

 
Andy Robertson

We work with designers and accessibility experts to record a detailed record of the accessibility settings and features in each game on the database. If you are a developer or have accessibility knowledge and would like to add to (or correct) this data please email our editor.
This page groups the best board games for family by how quick they are to learn. If you want to get started with an easy game this is the information you need.

 
Andy Robertson

This page groups the best board games for families by how quick they are to play. If you only have a short time to play, or if you want to fill an evening this is a great way to find the perfect board game for you.
We have 2,710 video games and 193 board games on the database. Our aim isn't to include all games (although maybe one day). We hand pick games for a few reasons:
  • Importance: They are important for parents to know about, perhaps because of some unexpected content.
  • Popularity: They are really popular with children, who will be asking to play them.
  • Discovery: They offer an unusual experience we think families will love.
If you know about a game that you think meets this criteria we are always keen to hear suggestions then to do Contact Us.

 
Andy Robertson

We work with consultancy and the gaming community to identify aspects of diversity and inclusion in video games. If you are a developer or have diversity and inclusion expertise and would like to add to (or correct) this data please email our editor.
Family Gaming Live is a space we have run at a wide range of Expos, Festivals and Community events. Unlike other video game stands, this isn't just a bunch of game kiosks for kids to play. We create hosted, calm, welcoming spaces for families to play together, discover new games, laugh and recharge.
We’ve worked with HSBC UK to help you understand costs, set spending budgets and avoid scams in video games.
Every month we see millions of parents and guardians visit the site to find out about video games and board games for their families. This page is a live, second-by-second view of what people are looking at right now. It also shows what's popular today, this week and this month.

 
Andy Robertson

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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