Andy Robertson loves video games. You don’t write about something if you’re indifferent to it, and Robertson has been writing about games for more than 15 years. In his new book, Taming Gaming: Guide Your Child to Video Game Health, Robertson takes that vast pool of knowledge to create an accessible and insightful guide to the fastest-growing form of entertainment on the planet.
Gaming can be an inscrutable and daunting medium for parents who aren’t in the know, and it can be tempting to try and restrict children’s access. To Robertson, the solution is simple: get stuck in! He lists in detail the many different values that playing games can instil in a child, from creativity to compassion, and argues that they can be a powerful tool for families to bond by providing the opportunity to discuss weighty topics in a fun environment.
As a parent, Robertson understands the fears that parents can have about the influence of video games: that they can be addictive, bring out violent tendencies in children, or be filled with hidden costs in the form of addictive loot boxes. While Robertson doesn’t shy away from the real pitfalls that can come with gaming - yes, some children can find it hard to switch off - but he’s also quick to delve into the nuance of that statement. The number of children that are truly ‘addicted’ to games, at least by the World Health Organisation’s standards, is very low, and for those few that are the solution is dialogue, not a forced detox. Robertson even enlists the help of a range of experts, from games journalists to the Children’s Commissioner for England, to provide their expert opinions on the virtues of video games.
Taming Gaming is peppered with handy hints for novice parents, explaining everything from PEGI age ratings to tips on giving your child a new console (spoiler alert: make sure to take it out of the box and install any updates before the big day!). But by far the most valuable section of the book is the Gaming Recipes at the back. Here, Robertson provides a curated selection of titles under useful headings like ‘Compete on the Couch’ or ‘Nourish Creativity’, with detailed explanations of each game’s story, mechanics and other useful information. His eclectic taste means that every list includes both well-known titles and indie gems, meaning even seasoned gaming parents will find something new to discover.
Taming Gaming is an essential read for gamers and non-gamers alike. Robertson’s easy, accessible writing style is perfect for explaining why so many children around the world turn to games, and why so many parents might fall in love with them too if they decide to pick up a controller for the first time.
For more information on gaming, or to do some research on games for yourself, head to the Taming Gaming website to see Andy’s full database. To read a sample chapter, go to taminggaming.com/book.
Natterhub is an educational social media platform created to prepare primary school children to thrive online.
Our interactive lessons give children all the skills that they need to stay safe in a digital landscape, and our Badges of Honour help teachers to keep track of their progress.
With a cleverly designed interface that looks and feels like social media, children learn in an environment that feels like the real deal whilst teachers can make use of the extensive Natterhub content library to keep pupils engaged and inspired.
Natterhub is powered by TwinklHive, and is used in over 50 countries around the world. Twinkl, a global educational publishing house, offers primary and secondary resources to 8.5 million members, across 197 countries.
Return to blog posts