TL;DR – This is an excellent resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue
Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! Review –
Last year, I got a chance to see a documentary series that was as informative as it was entertaining. Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! was very much as the title suggested. It explored the world of Video Games for parents that might not have a firm grasp on it. In my review, I found the show to be exciting, but there were some areas that I thought they had missed. Well, Season 2 is here, and those topics and more have been addressed, which is great to see.
So to set the scene, Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! is a show that explores the realm of video games for parents and caregivers, and not just video games but the surrounding ecosystem that supports and thrives around it. This season, we get topics that run the gamut from Online Safety to potential careers in Esports. All of these topics are important for parents and other care providers for giving them insight into a rapidly changing but also influential world. They are also presented in an easy to understand manner, with experts that can walk you through the issues, and an excellent summary at the end to give you strategy to engage with the issue at hand.
While Season 1, explored some essential issues, it did feel like some crucial gaps needed to be explored, thankfully all of these areas got covered this time around. For parents, I think the first topic will be the one that will take your attention when it comes to safety online. One of the things the show does well is provide some simple but concrete steps that parents can do to increase the safety of their kids online dramatically. One of the best suggestions they give is how you deal with a situation when one of your kids raised concern about some behaviour they witnessed online. The first knee jerk reaction you could have to this could do more harm so they walk through some of the ways you can help without causing more harm.
At the core of this second season is the discussion of the issues surrounding video games. With the changing nature of how people engage with video games, you can’t talk about them without mentioning YouTube and Twitch and the personalities behind it. One of the big disconnects I have had talking to people who didn’t grow up with video games is that they don’t get why you would watch people play video games rather than play them yourself. Now putting aside for a moment that no one ever says that about soccer or footy, as a parent, you need to understand this world because it is rapidly dominating the media landscape. This series helps you do that by exploring the world of Esports and YouTube and Twitch streaming
Where this series sets itself apart is in the exploration of two issues that are more important than ever accessibility, and should you make this a job. Accessibility is one of those issues that I had honestly not thought about beyond making sure games had good subtitles. Still, there is a whole range of people that cannot play modern video games due to how the way that modern controllers are designed. This episode was a thoughtful and engaging look into a problem that I had not thought about before but has significant implications for those in need. As someone with relatives in the video game industry in Australia, it was clear that they had done their research into the field and gave some clear and useful advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry.
In the end, do we recommend Help! My Kid Is A Gamer? Yes, yes we do. They are taking a very complicated issue and condensing it down into easy to understand segments that give practical and essential advice to parents and caregivers. That is a challenging balance to pull off, and they succeeded.
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.
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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 – Nich Richardson & Ben Shackleford
Production/Distribution Companies – ABC TV
Starring – Nich Richardson with Stephanie Bendixsen, Andrew Kinch, Kirra Pendergrast, Jocelyn Brewer, Marcus Carter, Chris Smith, Stacia Grooby, Naysy, Brendon (Handsolo), Bryce Johnson, Brian (Daisy Ale Soundworks), Brendan Keogh, Ashley Ringrose & Ben Levi
Episodes Covered – Online Gaming Safety & Etiquette, Is Esports A Real Job, The Influence of Gaming YouTubers, Accessibility in Games & Making Game a Career