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Online Gaming in the Family

Guest blog by Andy Robertson

Online Gaming in the Family

Video games have changed a lot over the last 20 years. When I played on my Commodore 64 and Spectrum 48k during my childhood they were expensive, short and offline. Now they are often free to play, endlessand online. This brings with it both challenges and opportunities for parents and carers of children who love to play games.

Today I’m writing about online gaming. Whereas previously if you wanted to play a game against another human being you had to be in the same room, now — as we all know — you simply connect your console or computer to the internet.

Children can use games to stay connected with friends, build community and engage with other kids from different cultures from all over the world. It also lets them have a lot of fun online playing together.

It also means that it is important that you set up the parental controls to limit how and what a child can share with other people. According to OFCOM, playing an online game is often the first place a young child will encounter and interact with someone they don’t know online.

The best way to keep things safe and healthy is to have game consoles and technology in shared family spaces. This ensures that you can see what’s going on. But also, if your child plays with a headset, get them to play without it from time to time so you can hear what’s going on.

This also makes it easier to take an interest in the games they play. Rather than just worrying about the total time on their screens, this means parents can start to understand the different activities that children engage in online.

Finally, we need to understand that all games are not equal. For instance, Fortnite, which I’ve included a parent’s guide video for below, offers an online gaming experience that is different from other games. Both in terms of why it’s enjoyable and what to watch out for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUnQroQu1lU

A new game that many children will say is basically the same as Fortnite is Apex Legends. However, for parents, this is quite a different proposition. Not only is it rated PEGI 16 as opposed to Fortnite’s PEGI 12 rating, but how you play and interact with other players is quite different. Again, I’ve included my video here so you can see in a few minutes what the differences are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFoYkmQ8rt8

There are lots of great resources to help you keep online gaming same and healthy:

Andy Robertson
Freelance Journalist
Forbes, The Guardian, BBC, AskAboutGames, The Mirror, Telegraph, FamilyGamerTV

@GeekDadGamer

TeachIT is designed to share best practises

Stella James seems to be the only female speaker at this event.  Take a look at the  event-brochure,  some good speakers and looking forward to showing them some girl power.

The Computing conference is for head teachers, senior leaders, IT Co-ordinators, teachers, teaching assistants and anyone involved in children’s education!

The conference is designed to share best practice and for you to discover innovative, effective new ways to integrate IT into the classroom in a cross curricular way and enhance pupil progress.

Throughout the day you will hear from our well renowned speakers, all of whom are still heavily involved in teaching and learning along with you having the opportunity to attend a varied selection of inspiring workshops.

It’s set to be an exciting, engaging day which you won’t want to miss!

Book here

 

SAFE Masterclass with Smoothwall

SAFE Masterclass with Smoothwall

As part of Smoothwall Association for Education, we’re partnering up with Smoothwall and the Police Cyber Crime Unit to host a Masterclass Roadshow visiting six locations across the UK in 2018. The Masterclasses will provide updated expert advice, best industry practice and information to anyone responsible for keeping children safe online.

Expert speakers will provide insight into the rising cybersecurity challenges currently faced in Education, how to effectively safeguard and promote online safety, and how you can comply with Government lelegislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and updated Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018).

The final masterclass of the year will take place in London on the 17th October 2018 at:

Broadway House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NQ

For more information and to register for your free place, click the link below:

BOOK HERE