Teens abhor being talked down to. And there’s an awful lot of talking down out there when it comes to the ‘right’ way to do games in families.
Even for parents and caregivers of all stripes, finding good advice that is clear and practical is hard. So much wowserism, so much “don’t be a narc”. So finding genuinely helpful insights that both teens and adults will find helpful is a rare gift.
And this project from Alannah & Madeline Foundation, A Gamer’s Guide, By Gamers is one of those gifts.
The team behind the project worked with a panel of 10 teenage gamers, aged 14-18, and created an easy to read PDF guide that covers the very basics of game genres and platforms and goes all the way through to staying safe online, building healthy gaming habits, and enjoying streamers and YouTubers in the right way.
It even has great tips for parents on how to engage with games with your kids, and for kids on how to talk to your parents about why games are important to you and how to show them the values games bring to your life.
Across the guide, there really are clear standout tips with great quotes from the teens involved, including simple and smart suggestions like:
Staying Safe While Online
– Know who you are playing with
– Switch servers
– Trust your gut
– Time management
– No game days
– Other commitments
Managing Your Emotions
– You’re going to lose sometimes
– Excuses, excuses
– Relax, it’s supposed to be fun!
At our count there’s over 27 tips here, depending on whether you just want to count bullet points or some of the larger section explainers. But the whole thing fits into just 10 spaced out pages of delicious info nuggets for easy browsing. It’s bloody brilliant.
All the tips come with clear quotes from teens in casual language that just jumps off the page far better than a thousand guides from ex-cops or ‘game addiction experts’ who try to scare parents into turning it all off… which only ever seems to encourage parents to just give up on trying to parent games at all…
Read about all the details on the announcement page which gives the clearest piece of advice of all – parents and teens should talk to each other about what they want out of gaming – and grab the full guide directly here.
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Seamus runs Byteside. You may also have spotted his words at the Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Junkee, Gamespot, The Esports Observer, CNET, Gizmodo and a few other spots over the years. He's very happy that he gets to nerd out for a living.