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Mapping Your Child's Digital Play With A Gaming Inventory

14/09/2021 - 3 days ago

Andy Robertson

 

An important step towards healthy family gaming is getting an accurate understanding of the kind of media games are. This gaming inventory is a structured way to start mapping, navigating and guiding this part of your child's life.

Why People Prefer Xbox, Switch, PlayStation or PC

13/09/2021 - 4 days ago

Andy Robertson

 

A big driver of which console you choose may well be the games your children want to play. While the most popular titles, like Fortnite and FIFA are available on all systems, there are some titles that are only available on one particular platform.

Parent's Eye View Of Video Game History

11/09/2021 - 6 days ago

Andy Robertson

 

Here's the story of video games, so far, and what sort of kit you need to consider getting to play them. As you can see, much of this technology you probably already own.

Understanding Children’s Online Friends

25/08/2021 - 3 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Like most ways to play, video games are fun on your own, but much more fun with other people. Online video games are a positive and connecting way to play. However, as children move into this space it can be hard to know how to protect, support and guide them.

Great Xbox Games

23/08/2021 - 3 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Whether you have an Xbox system already or are looking to make a decision over whether to buy one, here are all our game suggestions and exclusives for the main Nintendo systems. Xbox consoles improve visuals, sound and loading times as they developed:

Great Nintendo Games

23/08/2021 - 3 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Whether you have a Nintendo system already or are looking to make a decision over whether to buy one, here are all our game suggestions and exclusives for the main Nintendo systems. Unlike other consoles, these focus on gameplay and interactions rather than visuals:

Great PlayStation Games

20/08/2021 - 4 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Whether you have a PlayStation system already or are looking to make a decision over whether to buy one, here are all our game suggestions and exclusives for the main PlayStation systems. These improve visuals and interactions with each generation along with the following enhancements:

Metaphors That Explain Video Games

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

We are still working out what video games are, and how to talk about them. Unlike books or films, we don't yet have a very developed way of talking about the wide-ranging benefits and experiences that video games offer. Over the years I have used different metaphors to help uncover hidden aspects of video games.

How to Read a Video Game

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

It's easy to assume that video games are too complicated, quick or confusing to be enjoyed by those of us who didn't grow up with them. However, much of this comes from not having the experience and understand of how video games help lead us into their worlds.

First Steps Into Family Gaming

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Getting the technology set up to access the games in this book – and automatically keep things safe and sensible – isn’t complicated or expensive, although, yes, I know it can seem like it when you encounter it for the first time.

Second-Hand Bargain Gaming

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Before a console, it’s worth asking friends and family whether you could borrow one to try it out. Failing that, you can purchase second-hand consoles and older smartphones at a discount price (and often with a shop warranty for peace of mind).

Choosing a Console

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

As children get older they will likely ask for games that friends are talking about in the playground. There is no rush to get the latest titles or gaming consoles, and before you do it’s good to consider which games are must-haves and which are optional. This will inform which game hardware you decide to purchase. An Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo game console is a good way to keep this simple, as they come with everything you need in one package.

What Is Online Gaming?

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

Online gaming is an increasingly important part of the gaming experience for children. These are games that enable multiple players to collaborate and compete when not sat in the same room. These range from football and car racing with a few other players, to online war games involving hundreds of other players from around the globe.

Do This Before You Give Your Child a Console

27/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

If you’re giving a new game console, smartphone, tablet or portable gaming device as a gift to a child, it’s important that you set things up yourself before wrapping that big present.

Why Children Love Video Games

26/07/2021 - 7 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

To guide children to healthy video game enjoyment we need to understand them in a holistic way - the games as well as the children. If a child is obsessively reading books, we have a sense that there is something good happening here regardless of the content of the book. We understand that the process of reading has many benefits.

Invite Developers To Complete Accessibility Questionnaire

15/07/2021 - 9 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

As part of our work to extend the coverage and accuracy of the accessibility data, we have worked with experts to create an Accessibility Questionnaire for developers to complete. This not only updates accessibility data in the database for their game but creates a powerful context for them to discover a wide range of accessibility features to consider adding.

Video Games The Right Length For Your Busy Lives

13/07/2021 - 9 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

We all have different amounts of time available to play games in our lives. When children come along how much time we have to play games changes again. Games have to fit in around everything else going on.

Video Games For Children Of Different Ages

28/06/2021 - 11 weeks ago

Andy Robertson

 

You can search for video games on the database on the basis of their content and skill level:

Hobbies for Gamers

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

'But there's nothing else to do,' is a common refrain from a child who has been stopped from playing yet another hour of video games. 'I just want to chill out with my friends,' is another emotion children point to when their playtime has been limited.

When Video Games Get Out Of Control

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Everything we’ve discussed so far is all well and good, but doesn’t there come a time when enough is enough – or, rather, too much is too much? Engaging with video games, having healthy conversations about them and guiding your child’s play sounds good on paper. But what about children at the extreme end of the spectrum, where common sense and balance has become impossible in the face of obsession?

How To Engage With Your Child's Video Games

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Some children love video games more than other forms of play. The common thinking is that they were susceptible to the tricks of a powerful industry with coercive technology. They got distracted from healthier hobbies.

The Benefits of Video Games

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Understanding the role that video games have in a child’s life not only clears space for parents and carers to guide them towards healthy habits but uncovers the benefits that video games have to offer.

Seven Truths About Video Games

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Video games are relatively new. They may have been around for many years, but we are still only just starting to understand what they are and what that means for us and our children.

Persuasive Video Games

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Video games aren't what they first appear to be. It's easy to assume they are only junk food, and see our job as minimising them in the lives of children. It's common to see them as powerfully persuasive and tricking children into playing longer than they want to.

Video Game Moral Panic

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

‘If you’re worried about video games’ effects on children, why not just keep them out of the house?’ … ‘You wouldn’t leave your child with a bottle of vodka in their room, so why a video game?’ … ‘It’s simple, read the age ratings and just say no!’ … ‘Just limit them to an hour a day if they’ve done their homework and chores.’ … ‘Say no to the brats.’ … ‘Don’t let games rewire your child’s brain.’

Video Game Worries

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

If video games invite children to new worlds that build character, sociability, well-being, intuition and intelligence then why do we read so many scary stories about them creating violent behaviour, being addictive, encouraging gambling or enabling unwanted interactions with strangers?

Video Game Online Strangers

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

The video games I played growing up were offline. If I wanted to play against someone else, I would have to take my console and large, heavy television to their house and fiddle with the network settings before we could play. It was exciting, but the complexity meant it was something for special occasions.

Video Game Loot Boxes and Gambling

17/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

In the past video games have struggled to maintain profits from young audiences. The industry has pursued a variety of business models, from targeted family games on the Wii to movie tie-ins and selling toys that unlock in-game characters and levels as in Skylanders. This area of the market is still changing at a rapid pace.

Video Game Addiction

16/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Addiction is a worrying word for parents and carers of children who play a lot of video games. Children are absorbed by the gaming screen, twitching and grimacing as they play and often unaware of the world around them. They can find it hard to stop when asked to come to the table for mealtimes, do homework or go to bed. They appear to be obsessive and compulsive about their gaming.

Video Game Violence

16/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Video games often involve violent virtual content. The exuberance and excitement of shooting or fighting have been fertile territory for big-budget games, not dissimilar in approach to blockbuster films. Add to this the competitive and interactive satisfaction of hitting a target with a gun and you can see why some video games have been drawn to taking this approach.

Contact Us, We Will Answer

11/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

We are a small grass-roots team working on the database. Many of the best features of the database, and many of our favourite games have been added because of readers getting in touch with suggestions.

Family Video Game Database Press Coverage

11/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

If you would like to write about the database or are looking for comment on video games, violence, addiction, gambling and online harms, our editor Andy Robertson is available for appearances, interviews and quotes. You can call him on 07540 717270 or Press Contact email.

Popular Searches

10/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

With 1388 games on the database the search tool is a useful way of finding games that suit your family. It's designed for you to select the Age Rating, System, In-Game Purchases, Number of Players and Duration to match the needs and technology of your family.

Top Video Games Picks

10/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

We have 1388 in the database. Even though we only add games that are unique, unusual or particularly interesting for families, that's a lot of games to thumb through. Along with the lists and search our editors pick their favourite games each month.

Game Subscriptions

09/06/2021 - 3 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Along with providing information on game costs and free games via the Costs section on every game page, we also track savings you can make with game subscriptions.

What's Popular on Family Video Game Database Today

05/01/2021 - 8 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

With thousands of parents and carers checking the database for information about the video games their children are playing we have our finger on the pulse of gaming in the family. This page lays out the most popular games on the database right now.

Minecraft Online Multiplayer Guide

18/12/2020 - 9 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

Everything you need to know about getting Minecraft working online for you and your wider family. Which systems support split screen. Getting online with split-screen for more players. Playing with people on different platforms. What subscriptions you need: Realms Plus, Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus, Nintendo Online and Microsoft accounts.

PC or Console? Which Is Right For Your Family

11/11/2020 - 10 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

It is becoming increasingly popular for children to want a Gaming PC rather than a dedicated Console. This is a computer with a dedicated graphics card to run games and a gamepad or gaming mouse for controls. It offers access to a wider range of games, is useful for other activities like homework, video and music editing or programming and can be upgraded rather than replaced when it's out of date. However, it is a more expensive and complex option than a console.

Xbox, PlayStation or Switch? Which Is Right For Your Family

27/10/2020 - 10 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

When you are deciding which console to buy for your family there is plenty of advice about which is best: Switch, Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5. This page has all the information to help you make this choice.

Nintendo Download Play DS/3DS/2DS

14/05/2020 - 16 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

The Nintendo DS and 3DS/2DS offers a feature for some games where you can play on multiple systems with one copy of the game. This is a great way to save money for multiplayer games.

Video Game Accessibility Data

04/05/2020 - 16 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

We have worked with a range of accessibility experts to add key accessibility data to the database for game Difficulty, Reading, Navigation, Controls, Visuals, Audio and Communication. These 100 or so data points are designed to highlight accessibility features that video games offer, both from inclusive design and specific accessibility settings.

Recently Added Curated Lists

09/04/2020 - 17 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

This is the heart of our database: a list of lists. Each one is hand-picked to help a family we’ve worked with and aims to bring together a collection of games around an unusual theme. You can refine these lists on the search page by clicking the headings and then using the filters.

About Family Video Game Database

08/04/2020 - 17 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

The Family Video Game Database has been created to help parents, carers and guardians gain a deeper understanding of video games. Through unusual lists of games, detailed search and alternative suggestions we connect families with amazing, affordable video games that are valued by adults and children.

What's New on Family Video Game Database Today

28/03/2020 - 17 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

With the database regularly growing with new games, this is the best place to find out what we've added and updated. Check back to find out what New Games, New Lists and Updated Games are on the database today.

Curated Lists of Amazing Video Games that Parents Love

11/03/2020 - 18 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

This is the heart of our database: a list of lists. Each one is hand-picked to help a family we’ve worked with and aims to bring together a collection of games around an unusual theme. You can refine these lists on the search page by clicking the headings and then using filters:

Taming Gaming Book

04/03/2020 - 18 months ago

Andy Robertson

 

The Taming Gaming book and this Family Video Game Database are designed to complement each other. The database is searchable and updated every day, while the book is a longer, slower look at the detail of video games and children's health. Together they aim equip you with confidence and literacy to take action in this area of your child's life so they can get the most from it and you can enjoy it as well.


Image of the cover of the hardback edition of the Taming Gaming book  by Andy Robertson Image 311 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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