If you’re at home with kids it can sometimes feel like the quarantine has been going on for years instead of weeks. Keeping youngsters entertained is a tough job, but when you understand video games, you’ve got some powerful tools at your disposal.
If you haven’t already, you should really use this special time as an opportunity to discover the joy of playing games together. Not only will you get a better understanding of why playing games is great fun, you’ll also bond with your kids in a special way. By showing interest in their life, chances are they will be more open to try out another passtime you enjoy.
As many of us are still working from home, you can’t keep tabs on them continiously, and there’s no need for that either. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with kids playing video games on their own (in fact, the WHO even encourages it at this point), as long as there’s solid rules in place. You can always visit Speelhetslim (link in Dutch) for information and tips on safe and responsible gaming habits.
They have recently struck up a partnership with GameChangers (link in Dutch). Led by two self-proclaimed ex-game addicts, this organisation works with parents and schools to keep an eye out for erratic game behaviour. They organise workshops that help bridge the sometimes distant worlds between child and parent, which we think is really great.
We have noted they like to throw around the term “game addiction” very liberally and would like to offer our perspective on that. Since the WHO declared video game addiction an official mental disorder last year, more people have been worrying about the game behaviour of their kids. While we think the general opinion on this is still heavily skewed when compared to traditional, more accepted media consumption such as watching television or reading books, we as an industry can’t turn a blind eye to the small sample of cases where game behaviour has indeed become a problem. We hope that through a better understanding of the medium, these views will shift in the coming years, and are confident GameChangers is able to help in that area.
Bottom line: stay safe and play games with your kids!