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Get Children Taking (Healthy) Risks

Studies show that for inhabitants of the western world, life in the modern age has gotten progressively less dangerous and more comfortable with each passing generation. So why as parents do we all seem so afraid for our children? And how do we overcome this fear and let our kids take the necessary risks they need to take in order to thrive?

This is a list of games we have created with Digital Media Wellness Educator, Julia Storm, who founded ReConnect with the mission of providing parents a whole child approach to preparing kids for life in the Digital Age.

We are used to encouraging our children to take small risks in most areas of life; talking to a new child at school, trying out for a team or the school play, climbing a bit higher at the playground or walking to the market on their own for the first time. With every risk our children take they gain confidence in their own ability to navigate the unknown and to push themselves through difficulties.

But many of our kids also spend large amounts of time online and specifically playing video games. In this space, with horror stories in the press, both parents and children can become risk-averse. This can mean that children don’t have a chance to make healthy mistakes in safe ways in this part of life.

There’s an opportunity here for parents to leverage video games to help kids take safe risks and to learn and grow from these risks. This isn’t about using games as a safe version of risk-taking in real life, but discovering how they can be a wonderful compliment to this. (We also want to note, as with all multiplayer games, parents should be sure to talk to their children about best practices for staying safe when it comes to communicating with strangers online._

Collaboration: This might be working with another child in Minecraft to build something together. Or maybe playing Animal Crossing with someone who is new to the game and needs help. Or even, just allowing other players to help you in a game like Farm Together.

  • Generosity: This might be giving new players items they need to get started in a game like Adopt Me. It could be sharing some candles in Sky Children of Light. Or maybe it’s just letting a new player get a win in Drink More Glurp. This might be playing a game where you are rescuing another character, like Ico.
  • Ambition: This might be trying to play a game that seems too difficult, like Stormworks or Rocket League. It could be trying out a more mature game with a parent, like Spider-Man or Horizon Zero Dawn. It could be teaming up with friends for large challenges in Sea of Thieves or Dauntless. Or maybe dealing with real physics in Teardown or Noita.
  • Identity: This might be working out mental health scenarios in a game like Psychonauts 2. It could be learning to help others with their fears and anxiety in Rainbow Billy. Or maybe playing a game like Celeste that creates space to consider gender and self-doubt.

Playing these games with your child offers a unique way to start open and curious conversations about technology while they are still young and receptive. They are an opportunity for parents to be allies and mentors, not adversaries and monitors.

This list includes 25 games from the last 21 years, with 1,414 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .


 

Drink More Glurp

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Catastrophic OL (@Catastrophic_OL)

Players: You can play with 20 players in the same room and up to 1 player online

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Knights And Bikes!

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/08/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Foam Sword Games (@FoamSwordGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Enter a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island and work together as Nessa and Demelza to explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons, tape cassettes and...

Sea of Thieves

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Rare Ltd (@RareLtd)

Players: You can play this with 24 players online

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you are a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Rocket League

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Teardown

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Tuxedo Labs (@TuxedoLabs)

Players: This is a single player game

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in a fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Rainbow Billy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: We Are Mana Void (@WeAreManaVoid)

Players: This is a single player game

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Price: 21% off

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Stealth

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Insomniac Games (@InsomniacGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-10 year-olds

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Play Adopt Me (@PlayAdoptMe)

Players: You can play this with 100 players online

Adopt Me is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Dan Games (@Dan_Games)

Players: You can play this with 5 players online

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

Celeste

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Exok Games (@Exok_Games)

Players: This is a single player game

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14-18 year-olds

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Shooting

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Guerrilla (@Guerrilla)

Players: This is a single player game

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Sky Children of the Light

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World and Simulation

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 16/12/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Steel Wool Studio (@SteelWoolStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

Dauntless

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/05/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Phoenix Labs (@PhoenixLabs)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Dauntless is an action fighting video game where you play a monster hunter in a fantasy world. Cataclysmic events have released Behemoth creatures that prey on the surviving humans. You play a monster hunter who hunts and kills large fantasy creatures,...

Noita

Release Date: 05/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Nolla Games (@NollaGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Noita is platform adventure game in a world where each and every pixel is physically simulated. This means that the tiny elements that make up the landscape and characters have their own properties that: melt, burn, evaporate, explode, flow, float,...

Psychonauts 2 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS2, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Double Fine (@DoubleFine)

Players: This is a single player game

Psychonauts 2 is a running, jumping and puzzle solving game where you play Raz who has psychic abilities that let him delve into the minds of others. In the game, you control Raz as he enters their mental worlds and uses other Psi-Powers (telekinesis,...

Ico

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Platforms: PS2 and PS3

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls...

Muck

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/06/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: Dani Dev YT (@DaniDevYT)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

Muck is a survival adventure game where you are trapped on an island and must survive as many days as possible by using the resources you find. Played alone, or with friends, you work hard to have the defences you need before night falls.

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Art Games Studio (@ArtGamesStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Climber: Sky is the Limit is a survival climbing adventure, where you scale the peaks of the highest and most famous mountains in the world. Plan the best route, select the correct equipment and avoid dangerous hazards as you ascend. It's a unique blend...

Rally 2020 (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Racing and Simulation

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @Godsmackt (@Godsmackt)

Players: This is a single player game

Rally 2020 is a single-player rally racing game. Drive through a cross-country course in Germany from the viewpoint of the driver with your co-driver giving you navigation. It's novel because of the simple intensity of this task. Don't fall in the water...

Thirsty Suitors

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Narrative, Rhythm, Role-Playing and Sports

Developer: Outerloop Games (@OuterloopGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Thirsty Suitors is a role play game where you play Jala, back in your home town of Timber Hills to confront mistakes, make up with exes and reconcile cultural differences with your parents. You talk to your family and old friends, take on turn-based...

Demon Turf

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/11/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Platform

Developer: Fabrazz (@Fabrazz)

Players: This is a single player game

Demon Turf is a 3D running, jumping, rolling and flying game set in a world inhabited by all kinds of enemies. As a young demon, your job is to take on the different gangs and bring them down. It's unusual because you can shape-shift but also stands out...

Dr Meep

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/05/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: Hyper Beard (@HyperBeard)

Players: This is a single player game

Dr. Meep is a matching puzzle game about feelings. You play telepathic psychiatrist Dr. Meep and are visited by different patience. You help them come to terms with their colour- and shape-coded feelings by getting them to match.

Neurodeck

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/04/2020

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Tavrox Games (@TavroxGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Neurodeck is a psychological adventure game where you use life affirming cards to challenge a series of monsters in an experimental treatment program. Each monster represents a phobia and offers a chance to explore your character's psyche and overcome...

Stellaris

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 09/05/2016, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Pdx Interactive (@PdxInteractive)

Players: You can play this with 32 players online

Stellaris is a strategy game where you play a space-faring empire seeking to expand your territory. It offers complete customisation of your civilisation, with different sets of ethics and morals you choose from that change how you play, from limiting...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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