TV Review – Help! My Kid Is A Gamer – Season 1

TL;DR – This is a really good resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Video games, they are the latest hotness in the world, but like a lot of new technologies, there is a lot about them that can be difficult for people to understand if they are not familiar. This is amplified when it is parents trying to understand the world that their kids are living in. Today we look at a series that is trying to de-mystify some of the real issues around gaming and to give parents the tools needed to understand and help kids develop.

Each episode of the show revolves around one aspect of the video games industry and how it applies to children and then talks to the experts to help parents understand the issue. For example loot boxes and microtransactions. This is all presented in a form that is easy to digest which is important when dealing with very complex issues where there are quite often no straight forward answers. I feel that this show is really important because it does not shy away from the problematic aspects of video games but it also does not lean into the sensationalist reporting that you get from most of the Australian media that does not know how to write stories unless it is about “insert game is the new addiction” like we saw just last week with untitled goose game. There are real problems and concerns with video games, but these are no different for any other types of media and as a parent it is important to be across these issues.

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.
It is presented in a really helpful and informative manner. Image Credit: ABC TV.

All of this is constructed in an easy to follow manner because the people behind it are parents, so they know what all of these issues are and how to present them to other parents. The host here is Nich Richardson, who has a lot of experience within the games media industry and is also a parent. There is a passion there that you just can’t fake and it provides an important framework for the show. They also talk to key experts from across Australia, for example Margaret Anderson who is the director of Australia’s Classification Board. This is important because it helps cut through the noise and actually engages with the people that can really help you understand what is going on.

There are five episodes in the first season that cover five of the big issues around video games, classification, screen time, loot boxes, parental controls, and also the benefits of gaming. Each of these are important issues and it is a credit to the show that they are able to explore each of them in around 10 to 15 minutes. These areas are the exact questions I have been asked about by parents so they are good starting point for discussion. If there is one area that is missing it is the role of YouTube and Twitch and video games, and I know they referenced it, but if there are more shows I hope they touch on some of these issues.  

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.
It engages with the key experts from around Australia. Image Credit: ABC TV.

They also offer some really good advice about how video games are not ‘toys or babysitters’ and by helping to discern what are normal adolescent responses and what are problematic responses. All of this is wrapped up in a presentation that uses a lot of old footage from the 1970s as a framing device which helps contextualize video games in that genre of moral panic issues that is as old as time. This all helps contextualise video games in a way that is easier to understand for people and reminds you that if your kid is into ballet or soccer you going to need to spend time with them as the sport, and video games should be no different.     

In the end, do we recommend Help! My Kid Is A Gamer? Yes, yes we do. With this world shifting radically in regards to technology it is difficult for parents to engage with issues that simply were not there when they were growing up. It helps work through some of the key issues, presents it in an easy to digest manner, consults with key experts to give it weight, and it gives some really helpful advice.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Help! My Kid Is A Gamer yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Help! My Kid Is A Gamer
Directed by
– Ben Shackleford
Written by – Ben Shackleford
Production/Distribution Companies – ABC TV
Starring – Nich ‘Nichboy’ Richardson, Eliot Fish & Helen Stuart with Margaret Anderson, Jeffrey Brand, Daniel Johnson, Kristy Goodwin, Marcus Carter, Penny Kyburz, Kirsty Sculler, Catherine Beavis, Ken Wong,        
Episodes Covered – Classification and Violence, Screen Time And Addiction, Microtransactions and Loot Boxes, Parental Controls and Safety & Hidden Benefits of Gaming   

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