Holiday Gaming Tips for FamiliesNov 21, 2018
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be gathering together with our families to give thanks and celebrate the holiday season. It’s during these times that we often have conversations about work, life, and school. We thought it might be helpful to parents of high school students to think about conversations you could have together over the holiday break.
Conversation Starters: Talk with Your Students About Gaming!
The world of esports is new for everyone, even its participants! Often times, an interest in gaming is dismissed, rather than validated. By opening up the opportunity to talk with students interest in gaming, they feel valued and we receive a better understanding of what they care about. A win-win!
Parents may not know what questions to ask to find out more about what their kids are doing with their esports clubs, so here are some suggestions.
The goal of these questions is to spark deeper conversation about your child’s interest in esports, as well as to help them think about their gaming more intently.
Around the table:
- What games have you been playing with your esports club?
- Which has been your favorite game?
- What do you like about your favorite game?
- What’s the goal of the game?
- Are there any specific roles that you like within that game?
- If you could work in the technology industry helping to create video games, what kind of job could you see yourself doing?
- If you could write your own game, what do you think you’d create?
- Have you played any games that have a good story? Which ones?
- Are there any games you’ve played that you think I would enjoy? Why?
- What do you enjoy about playing with a team?
While they’re playing (while being respectful of their in-game play!)
- What is happening here? What is the objective?
- What role do you play on the team?
- How do you feel like the game went?
At NASEF, we use esports as a tool to better educate students and prepare them for life in and after high school. These discussion questions cover some of the aspects of esports that our clubs focus on: the fields of technology, problem-solving, teamwork, writing, and storytelling.
Activities: Play A Game (or Five)!
We encourage you to set aside some time to sit alongside your student and ask if they can walk you through a tutorial of their game. Ask questions and see how you do playing their game. It can give you glimpses into their personality by seeing their gaming style. It can be a fun, memorable experience when an adult plays a game next to their more-experienced high schooler!
In order for esports players to function at their best, their minds and bodies have to be in good condition. This means eating healthy food, getting outside for physical activity, staying on top of schoolwork, sleeping for appropriate amounts of time, and taking breaks from gaming.
If you have a console system, computer, or smartphone at home, it can be easy to “zone out” in front of electronics devices during an extended break. We encourage our students to take active steps and be healthy gamers.
Gift-giving is also a big part of the holidays. Has your student asked for anything gaming-related?
Take some time out of a shopping trip to learn more about the peripherals that our high school esports clubs use on a regular basis. While looking at items on their wish list, take the opportunity to ask some questions:
- Ask why they prefer one style of devices over another.
- Discuss ergonomics and compare different devices.
- Ask your student to describe functional changes in devices that could improve how they work and play.
If your student has games on their list, ask about the titles: what are the storylines, the plot, and the objective.
When you purchase a game, be sure to check the rating. Is the game appropriate for your student’s age and maturity level? The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has a rating system in place to tell parents the age-appropriateness of a video game. You can see age and content ratings on their website: https://www.esrb.org/ratings/. Their site also contains a search tool that allows you to check the ratings of a game by searching the title.
Parents often agree that children grow in what seems like the blink of an eye. Enjoy these moments with your student, they’ll be off on their own before you know it!
The holiday season is an incredibly busy time of year. We’d encourage you to take some time to slow down and enjoy this time. Have great conversations and connect with your teen about their interests, play games together, and spend a lot of time laughing together!