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Play is vital to children's development yet under threat. It is the means by which they practise the skills to thrive in adulthood. But for 50 years, children's opportunities for free play have been declining as parental fears, increased homework, automobiles and lonelier neighbourhoods keep them off the streets, out of the fields and behind front doors. And yet, the drive to play remains untamed.

02/05/2024 / 11 weeks ago / Andy Robertson

Using video games in education is not a new idea. The opportunity seems clear. On the one hand, teachers work to engage students in learning. On the other hand, children rush to video games for engagement in their free time. Combining the two is a no-brainer, right?

20/03/2024 / 4 months ago / Andy Robertson

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 / 5 months 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 / 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 / 13 months 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

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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