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A Parents Guide to Fortnite

With school out for most, digital gaming often becomes the first way kids seek to stay entertained. If you are finding that your children, like so many others, are spending inordinate amounts of time playing a game called Fortnite, you might want to look at A Non-Gamer’s Guide to Fortnite, the Game That Conquered All the Screens, from The New York Times Personal Tech page. The article does a great job of explaining the game and letting parents foresee issues that they might want to discuss with their children.

eSports Leagues For a New Generation of Athletes

Some US high schools are developing eSports leagues – organizations for playing video games competitively  - and have seen increases in engagement and academic performance from students who are otherwise withdrawn at school. The positive outcomes have moved some educators in California to develop a curriculum around eSports that includes reading books like Ready Player One, and when approved, will satisfy high-school English credits.

Universal Depression Screening Recommended for Adolescents

There is a lot of blame put on technology for the increase in teen bullying and isolation.

Video Game Playing in Groups May Improve Communication Skills

Playing video games as a group may help improve communication skills, according to a study by researchers in Scotland. Data shows that after two months of regularly playing video games in a group setting, a test group of students demonstrated improved communication skills, adaptability and resourcefulness. The researchers feel that having video game teams in schools, sanctioned the same way as football or baseball teams, could help students who do not want to (or are unable to) play traditional sports build the kind of life skills often gained by participation in those physical activities.

Game Jams

Do you have a child who is interested programming or wants to make a difference in the world? Something that might spark their interest is a game jam, a hackathon-type event where kids get together to design a computer game or app based on social issues such as immigration, climate change, or future cities. Want to know more? Check out this article called Taking Advantage of the Power of Play on the Edutopia site for ideas on how to get started.

Can Minecraft Boost Problem Solving and Empathy Skills?

Playing the video game Minecraft may help boost students' social and emotional skills, according to a recent survey from Getting Smart and Microsoft. Data shows that 86.6% of teachers who use the education version for group play in their classrooms said playing Minecraft had a positive effect on students' communication skills, including problem-solving (cited by 97.7 percent), creativity (95.5 percent), critical thinking (93.3 percent) and collaboration (91.1 percent).

Can Minecraft Boost Problem Solving and Empathy Skills?

Playing the video game Minecraft may help boost students' social and emotional skills, according to a recent survey from Getting Smart and Microsoft. Data shows that 86.6% of teachers who use the education version for group play in their classrooms said playing Minecraft had a positive effect on students' communication skills, including problem-solving (cited by 97.7 percent), creativity (95.5 percent), critical thinking (93.3 percent) and collaboration (91.1 percent).

Mean Males on Online Gaming Sites Are Literally Losers

According to a study that was recently published in the journal PLOS One, men who were worse players at online games than their peers tended to hurl more nastiness at female gamers. On the other hand, men who consistently perform well were nicer overall to both male and female players. This was found by a pair of researchers from the United States and Australia who examined interactions between players during 163 games of Halo 3 to determine when men were most likely to exhibit sexist, anti-social behavior toward their female peers. Takeaway for parents? Remind the gamer girls at your house that they still should let you know when comments go too far but to keep in mind that a lot of the vitriol they face online may just be raw jealousy.

Mean Males on Online Gaming Sites Are Literally Losers

According to a study that was recently published in the journal PLOS One, men who were worse players at online games than their peers tended to hurl more nastiness at female gamers. On the other hand, men who consistently perform well were nicer overall to both male and female players. This was found by a pair of researchers from the United States and Australia who examined interactions between players during 163 games of Halo 3 to determine when men were most likely to exhibit sexist, anti-social behavior toward their female peers. Takeaway for parents? Remind the gamer girls at your house that they still should let you know when comments go too far but to keep in mind that a lot of the vitriol they face online may just be raw jealousy.

Got a Young Gamer? Take a Minute to Learn 7 Safety Tips

If your kids love online gaming, it is important to keep up with the latest tips on how to keep them playing safely and smartly. Got just a minute to do that? Check out this video entitled 7 Easy Hacks for Parents of Young Gamers.

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