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Video games are usually thought of as something for young people. In fact, many parents hope that their kids will grow out of playing games. However, more likely, they will have a lifelong relationship with video games in some form or other.

13/11/2023 / 2 weeks ago

Video games are often thought to be power fantasies about shooting. While many offer this experience, there are a growing number that look at other sources of power. In particular, the power our parents hold over us and the power we hope to grant to our children.

06/11/2023 / 3 weeks ago

Video games are known for finding some small (often peculiar) part of life and turning it into a game. The moment of firing a gun, jumping over a ditch or even cooking the perfect meal have all been the subject of successful games. However, there are some games that go in the opposite direction and turn their attention on the largest aspects of life.

30/10/2023 / 4 weeks ago

Games are often about destruction rather than creation and include acts of killing, felling and undoing. With news of the "Beloved Tree in England Felled in Act of Vandalism" as the New York Times put it, we may imagine that video games are (as is the instinct) in some way to blame.

02/10/2023 / 8 weeks ago

Most often in games, we are battling to survive no matter the cost to others. Games are usually a story about the wielding of power to achieve worthy ends. However, there are some games that embrace the limits of this use of power.

13/09/2023 / 11 weeks ago

We are running the Family Gaming Area at EGX London (October 12th-15th 2023). As you can see below, we'll have a wide selection of video games for you to try out. Talk to one of our on-hand experts to find a game that's a perfect match for your family using the special search page on the data. From big AAA games to the small indies we're aiming to have something for everyone.

08/09/2023 / 11 weeks ago

Many games present a substantial challenge. This is often about quick reflexes or your ability to deal with multiple systems at the same time. There is a specific set of games that focus on the challenge of a layered, complex conundrum you need to decipher to succeed.

22/06/2023 / 5 months ago

Video games let you step into the shoes of someone else. For a long time, the lead characters were dominated by men but more recently games have offered protagonists of a wider set of genders. Still, there aren't loads that offer a woman hero who faces challenges and opportunities unique to her identity.

08/04/2023 / 7 months ago

That video games can be like playgrounds for children is clear from even briefly observing how children move and interact in online play. Hone in on Adventure Playgrounds specifically and there's a deeper match in how children used fixed equipment for imaginative play, made-up games and (sometimes) its intended purposes. Go further to consider their history in Junk Playgrounds and the ongoing role of Playworkers and we are way beyond a qualifying metaphor to a new way of valuing play(-frames) in video games.

04/04/2023 / 8 months ago

Designing for Children’s Rights (D4CR) is a global non-profit association, supporting the Designing for Children’s Rights Guide that integrates the U.N. rights of the child in design, business and development of products and services around the world.

14/03/2023 / 8 months ago

If you ask for suggestions of video games for your children to play there's often a strong response on social media - all the more so if you are a non-gamer. Although these suggestions are often helpful, they circulate the same small pool of popular games, often at the expense of less familiar titles.

02/03/2023 / 9 months ago

Like most forms of media, video games often save the best and most interesting chapters until the end. However, there are many games that set you loose in their world without barriers or restrictions. Most interesting, I think, are games that do this without it being obvious that the world is your oyster.

01/03/2023 / 9 months ago

Quite a few video games include bikes as a means to get around. But there are some special experiences that let bike transit take centre stage. And when they do that it's one of the most satisfying ways to get around a video game world.

09/02/2023 / 9 months ago

Video games are largely about what's on the screen, the clue's in the name, right? But there are some games that get the player to close their eyes and engage with other senses. There's something magical about relinquishing the visual world for a while and embracing the idea of engaging with a virtual world with just sound (and maybe some controller haptics).

07/02/2023 / 9 months ago

This is our list of video games where you can continue improving for many years of play. We don't think that excelling in a video game is in the same category as learning a new language, singing or becoming a doctor. It's no surprise, there are a lot of reasons that these are very different pursuits. However, we generally misunderstand how much skill, knowledge, intuition, theory and expertise (amongst other things) are required to be the best at a specific game. Video games have a far higher skill ceiling than it seems.

31/01/2023 / 10 months ago

There's nothing quite like messing around on the water in a boat. It's even more fun if you can do it with a friend. As in life, so also in video games. The combination of seafaring (or river-faring) and cooperative challenges works really well.

17/01/2023 / 10 months ago

The Digital Futures Commission's A Vision of Free Play in a Digital World report outlines the key qualities of "free play" for what "good" looks like in a digital world. The team from 5Rights Foundation and LSE set out ambitious expectations for children’s free play in all contexts.

17/01/2023 / 10 months ago

Video games often challenge a variety of mental capacities requiring the player to process information and respond accordingly. With the right focus of application, video games have the potential to be effective therapeutic tools for addressing various cognitive abilities.

12/01/2023 / 10 months ago

Many video games are a way to develop and sustain meaningful relationships with others. From a therapeutic perspective, this means they also have the potential to help individuals and groups develop their social interactions. This can include individuals with autism, down syndrome, traumatic brain injury or with sensory processing disorder.

09/01/2023 / 10 months ago

Playing any video game requires a degree of movement from the player. However, motion-controlled games require a greater degree of movement and are therefore more useful from a therapeutic perspective.

04/01/2023 / 11 months ago

These are the games we've picked from up-and-coming releases this year, because they are of particular interest to families. You can read more about how 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.
  • Significance: They offer an unusual experience we think families will love.

01/01/2023 / 11 months ago

These are the games we've just added to the database this month, because they are of particular interest to families. You can read more about how 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.
  • Significance: They offer an unusual experience we think families will love.

01/01/2023 / 11 months ago

These are the games we've picked from new releases this month, because they are of particular interest to families. You can read more about how 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.
  • Significance: They offer an unusual experience we think families will love.

01/01/2023 / 11 months ago

Video games are essentially entertainment media that are usually designed to make money. Interestingly, they are also a powerful way to look at what agency we have (or don't have) in our lives dominated by a capitalistic imperative.

23/12/2022 / a year ago

Sailing is something not everyone has access to. If you grow up with parents who are into sailing, you will likely have a way into the exciting activity. If you didn't however, it's unlikely you have spent much time on the water.

22/12/2022 / a year ago

They might say that "the first cut is the deepest", but when it comes to video games there are many experiences where the second time through is the one that you really love. From games that intentionally offer a "New Game +" where you go again with more equipment and upgrades, to games that are more fun once you know what's really going on, this is a list of games that people love to play a second time.

17/11/2022 / 12 months ago

Video games are often praised for how good they look. Some games let you use these beautiful spaces to take photos. It's a feature that's growing in popularity both in terms of how often it's provided and how much people are using it.

04/11/2022 / 13 months ago

Often we think about video game narrative as what characters and narrators tell us. But the worlds in which we play these games are often as dense and rich with story as any other aspect of the experience.

01/11/2022 / 13 months ago

Games are often about fighting. The abilities, weapons and special powers that characters have get a lot of attention. But a really huge part of many games is how to combat and defend attacks from enemies. This is a list of games where the most enjoyable and fun aspect is the dodge-roll or parry.

19/10/2022 / 13 months ago

From the paper fortune tellers we used to make in school, to intricate origami birds, the playful folding of paper into interesting objects has long overlapped with other types of games. Origami appears in video games and board games surprisingly often. This list looks at the best games that put paper folding to the test.

18/10/2022 / 13 months ago

We often talk about video games not only being entertainment because they are a new way to tell stories. However, some games use narrative as the way you interact with the game. Whether you are exploring a living breathing world, making choices that impact the story or even just deciding how things are said, narrative is the thing you are working with.

11/10/2022 / 13 months ago

Whether at Halloween or other times of the year, people love games that spook and scare them. There are loads of games that offer experiences as disturbing as you want. However, it can be hard to find games that have a spooky or scary theme but don't take things "too far".

07/10/2022 / 13 months ago

As popularised by the Can You Pet the Dog Twitter account, many video games offer endearing and supportive animal relationships. However, not every video game critter is helpful, loving or safe to pet.

05/10/2022 / 14 months ago

One of the most overlooked aspects of modern game controllers is the speaker. Although many games do little with it, there are a handful that extend the play experience substantially with the experience of sounds happening in your hands as well as on the TV.

03/10/2022 / 14 months ago

In September 2022 there were huge queues along the banks of the River Thames as people waited to pay their respects to the Queen. The queue became something of a phenomenon, with its own website, toilets, water points. Some people waited more than 24 hours as they slowly walked the 10 miles.

28/09/2022 / 14 months ago

Many video games are enjoyable because of the independence they offer. You get to try out being the master of your own fate with all the power and ability you need to do that. Some games flip this on its head. They task you with convincing strangers to help you on a mission that will fail without their help.

25/09/2022 / 14 months ago

All games make you think in some way or other. However, some are designed to stretch your puzzle know-how more than others. There are games that don't lean on reactions or visuals to tell a story. Instead, they offer a conundrum to get you thinking.

23/09/2022 / 14 months ago

We are running the Family Gaming Area at MCM Comic Con (October 28th-30th 2022) with AskAboutGames and the VSC Ratings Board. We'll be there to answer questions on console settings, PEGI ratings, keeping costs sensible, and helping you find amazing games.

21/09/2022 / 14 months ago

Most of us play board games for the laughs and the giggles. We love getting around a table, opening a box and having fun. But I am sure you can also all think of a time when games have played out in a way that has made you see your friends in a different light.

01/09/2022 / 15 months ago

This page provides a list of the games on the Xbox stand at Gamescom as a simple place for you to access the button mapping and accessibility information for each of them.

24/08/2022 / 15 months ago

With the final episode of Neighbours signalling the end of road for the soap opera many of us grew up with, you are likely missing the healing properties of a good cuppa. Whatever life threw at the residents of Ramsay Street, nothing was too traumatic not to be soothed with a good strong cup of tea.

17/08/2022 / 15 months ago

Going on holiday to the beach, but still want to get your board game fix? Well here is our list of games that we think you should squeeze into the top of your suitcase.

10/08/2022 / 15 months ago

Hacking is often seen as an activity that is not entertaining or desirable. Hackers are usually depicted as criminals causing damage. However, there are some amazing games that use hacking as a way to subvert the powers in charge whether that's by breaking into a room by hacking a door lock, or something where hacking is how you interact with the world, These games are a chance for players to be creative about how they progress.

09/08/2022 / 15 months ago

There are times in life when something worrying is happening and the best course of action is to not think about it. Annoying, those are the times when your brain will let you think of nothing else. Having a good distraction on hand can really help.

08/08/2022 / 15 months ago

There are some games that seem inescapable. Children tell parents that there's nothing else like them, and "all their friends are playing" this one game. However, you don't need to feel pressured to let a child play a game. Check out our page for the game and if you don't think they are ready you can suggest one of the great alternatives.

07/08/2022 / 16 months ago

Whether it's the behind-the-scenes calculations of a video game or the secondary mechanics of a board game, dice rolls are often the unsung heroes of the gaming world. This list is their moment to shine and get the plaudits they so rightly deserve.

03/08/2022 / 16 months ago

Video games like to creep players out in different ways. Perhaps that's why our dear old "friend" the spider features so often in popular games.

22/07/2022 / 16 months ago

Are you a dog person or a cat person? If you're the latter there are loads of amazing video games featuring your feline friends. (If you're the former, there are also lots of dog games, but that's another list).

19/07/2022 / 16 months ago

Shooting and video games have gone together almost since they were invented. While this can understandably make parents of young players nervous, there are lots of games that steer down the sport-shooting route rather than military violence.

18/07/2022 / 16 months ago

From the earliest video games, various creatures of all shapes and sizes have featured large. But from their first outing in Frogger, there is something about our pond-dwelling amphibian friends that has led to them becoming star video game characters.

15/07/2022 / 16 months ago

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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