Train2Game News Reducing Screen Time for Kids

Newspaper journalist and father of three, Andy Robertson launches Taming Gaming book to help parents guide their child’s gaming towards health and wellbeing with unique “family gaming recipes”.

Taming Gaming is an unflinching look at the impact of gaming on family life. It compiles the latest research and advice from psychologists, industry experts, parents, schools and children’s charities.

Discover what really happens when a child plays a video game. Stop worrying about screen time and start guiding your child’s gaming activity from violence, expense and addiction, towards fulfilling, healthy, affordable experiences.

Andy was invited to create the book by crowdfunding publisher Unbound. The book project launches Friday 18th May and can be pre-ordered today as ebook (£10) or full colour hardback (early bird discount £20) via the campaign (https://unbound.com/books/taming-gaming/).

Beth Lewis, Commissioning Editor at Unbound, said, “Taming Gaming is an important and timely book. The gaming recipes offer parents an easy way to get involved in their child’s hobby and start guiding them towards healthy habits.”

Written with non-gaming parents in mind, the book helps you tame the games your child plays, by equipping you to make informed decisions, engage in this area of life and guide their gaming diet.

It’s packed with beautifully laid out tried and tested “family gaming recipes”. Each recipe shows you everything you need to know with jargon-free instructions that take the guesswork out of gaming together. Now parents who’d rather just lock it all away can access a broad diet of cutting edge games children will love, and help them navigate this unavoidable part of life.

“Parents are increasingly worried by what video games are doing to their children”, said author, Andy Robertson. “The NSPCC is warning of Fortnite child-predators, the American Psychological Association citing games as a risk factor for violent behaviour and the World Health Organisation is naming gaming disorder as a clinically significant syndrome.”

“I appreciate parents’ anxiety about this, but I’m also deeply grateful for what the skills and qualities that games have instilled in my children: curiosity, compassion, resilience, confidence, problem solving and patience.”

“I wrote Taming Gaming as a father wanting to air the real headaches of video games in the home, but also as a journalist offering parents an accessible way to solve this problem. The ‘family gaming recipes’ do this perfectly.”

Early responses about the book and recipes have been glowing from parents, industry and academics.

Ken Corish, Online Safety Director, UK Safer Internet Centre commented that “this book is a breath of fresh air in the current dialogue on children’s online gaming. It adds sophistication and insight to achieve the most rewarding gaming experiences rather than panic, fear and barriers. The recipes section for parents shapes each carefully chosen example to the needs and context of their child. Like all of the best cookbooks, the results keep you coming back for more.”

“I just feel alienated from the gaming world. Having advice and strategies in one place, and someone with ideas on how to make Fortnite and FIFA work for the whole family would be a godsend. The recipes are something that I’d actually try. Probably on my own to begin with.” Vanessa Pestridge, mum of two.

Andy Phippen, Professor of Children and Technology, University of Plymouth, “Having worked with gaming kids, education professional and parents over the years what is clear is that there is a lot of ill informed concern over gaming that can cause problems in the family dynamic. Clear, accessible and mature gaming advice like the recipes in this book, can make a tangible difference by equipping parents to play an active role in this crucial part of development.”

Professor Sonia Livingstone, OBE, Department of Media and Communications at LSE also commented on the gaming recipe idea. “Many parents feel anxious about digital technologies and are unsure where to get advice – their own parents are often less useful here than in other areas, for instance. Much of the advice on offer is commercially-motivated, or underestimates parents’ developing digital knowledge, or is frankly unrealistic about the everyday pressures of family life. So a new approach is definitely needed.”