#DigitalParenting: Watching @GeekDadGamer Try and Talk Sense with @PiersMorgan

Recently I highlighted a new crowdfunding project. Andy Robertson is my ‘go to’ person for balanced, knowledgeable insights into gaming (and children). He did the rounds of a couple of TV shows yesterday (after the news about problems with Fortnite) – and here’s the recording from one of them:

This was also covered by The Metro, and I like this tweet:

The best thing that you can do to help balance out the dialogue is by buying Andy’s book ‘Taming Gaming’ – and you can read his guides to Fortnite here or here… and if you want my book that deals more widely with digital as a whole see Raising Children in a Digital Age. 


[PRESS RELEASE] New “Taming Gaming” book helps parents guide children to video game health with @GeekDadGamer #DigitalParenting #EdTech

The other week I passed on a request for comment from Premier Radio on gaming online to Andy Robertson, who has LOADS more knowledge in this area than I do (I’m not really a big gamer, though I’m still Candy Crushing and out Pokemon’ing, I’m definitely not Fortnite’ing or any other immersive games)! Chapter 14 of Raising Children in a Digital Age had some advice, and I’ve done a few bits of related media, but really pleased to hear that Andy’s turning his expertise into a book – he really knows his stuff (as you can see from the bottom of the press release)! We are planning to talk more about it, but for now – check out the press release, the video, and sign up for the book through Unbound (a crowd-funding platform in which you pre-order the book, and once enough sales are in place, the book gets written. I love the idea that the content will be updateable with new ‘recipe packs’ as new games are released!

Here follows the press release for Andy’s book:

A lighthearted, informative guide to what screen-time, gaming and gadgets are doing to children, for parents who’d rather lock it all in a cupboard.

LONDON, UK (Friday 18th May, 12pm GMT) – Newspaper journalist and father of three, Andy Robertson launches Taming Gaming book to help parents guide their child’s gaming towards health and wellbeing with unique “family gaming recipes”.

Taming Gaming is an unflinching look at the impact of gaming on family life. It compiles the latest research and advice from psychologists, industry experts, parents, schools and children’s charities.

Discover what really happens when a child plays a video game. Stop worrying about screen time and start guiding your child’s gaming activity from violence, expense and addiction, towards fulfilling, healthy, affordable experiences.

You can watch a video in which Andy gives an overview of the book, including interviews with some Mums:

Andy was invited to create the book by crowdfunding publisher Unbound. The book project launches Friday 18th May and can be pre-ordered today as ebook (£10) or full colour hardback (early bird discount £20) via the campaign (

Beth Lewis, Commissioning Editor at Unbound, said, “Taming Gaming is an important and timely book. The gaming recipes offer parents an easy way to get involved in their child’s hobby and start guiding them towards healthy habits.”

Written with non-gaming parents in mind, the book helps you tame the games your child plays, by equipping you to make informed decisions, engage in this area of life and guide their gaming diet.

It’s packed with beautifully laid out tried and tested “family gaming recipes”. Each recipe shows you everything you need to know with jargon-free instructions that take the guesswork out of gaming together. Now parents who’d rather just lock it all away can access a broad diet of cutting edge games children will love, and help them navigate this unavoidable part of life.

“Parents are increasingly worried by what video games are doing to their children”, said author, Andy Robertson. “The NSPCC is warning of Fortnite child-predators, the American Psychological Association citing games as a risk factor for violent behaviour and the World Health Organisation is naming gaming disorder as a clinically significant syndrome.”  

“I appreciate parents’ anxiety about this, but I’m also deeply grateful for what the skills and qualities that games have instilled in my children: curiosity, compassion, resilience, confidence, problem solving and patience.”

“I wrote Taming Gaming as a father wanting to air the real headaches of video games in the home, but also as a journalist offering parents an accessible way to solve this problem. The ‘family gaming recipes’ do this perfectly.”

Early responses about the book and recipes have been glowing from parents, industry and academics.

Ken Corish, Online Safety Director, UK Safer Internet Centre commented that “this book is a breath of fresh air in the current dialogue on children’s online gaming. It adds sophistication and insight to achieve the most rewarding gaming experiences rather than panic, fear and barriers. The recipes section for parents shapes each carefully chosen example to the needs and context of their child. Like all of the best cookbooks, the results keep you coming back for more.”

“I just feel alienated from the gaming world. Having advice and strategies in one place, and someone with ideas on how to make Fortnite and FIFA work for the whole family would be a godsend. The recipes are something that I’d actually try. Probably on my own to begin with.” Vanessa Pestridge, mum of two.

Andy Phippen, Professor of Children and Technology, University of Plymouth, “Having worked with gaming kids, education professional and parents over the years what is clear is that there is a lot of ill informed concern over gaming that can cause problems in the family dynamic. Clear, accessible and mature gaming advice like the recipes in this book, can make a tangible difference by equipping parents to play an active role in this crucial part of development.”

Professor Sonia Livingstone, OBE, Department of Media and Communications at LSE also commented on the gaming recipe idea. “Many parents feel anxious about digital technologies and are unsure where to get advice – their own parents are often less useful here than in other areas, for instance. Much of the advice on offer is commercially-motivated, or underestimates parents’ developing digital knowledge, or is frankly unrealistic about the everyday pressures of family life. So a new approach is definitely needed.”

More About Unbound

Unbound was founded in 2011 by writers Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard. Since then it has published over 80 books, including the Sunday Times bestselling Letters of Note, the Man Booker Prize long-listed The Wake, and the winner of the 2016 Books Are My Bag Readers’ Choice Award, The Good Immigrant. Fusing traditional ideas of patronage with contemporary crowdfunding models, Unbound seeks to publish the books which readers want to read, providing a new platform for the most challenging and innovative of projects. @unbounders

More About Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson was born in Winchester in 1974, and has been helping families get more from video games for 15 years. As a Forbes contributor, TEDx speaker, newspaper journalist for the Guardian, broadcaster for BBC, he’s pioneered a perspective on the positives of gaming for children, that isn’t afraid to face the dangers.

From cathedrals to arts festivals, schools to high streets, The One Show to YouTube, he’s helped thousands of parents guide their children’s gaming to health. Now spending more time doing the crossword than on the Xbox, he’s keen to reach non-gaming parents who feel on the back foot about gaming — or just plain anxious about the whole thing.

Andy brings an eclectic set of skills with him. It’s not every games journalist who can claim a theological training, ultra marathon habit or to have run production for a leading TEDx event. He also enjoys baking, board games and trying out the latest toys for his family’s YouTube channel.

Andy lives in Devon with his family of five (kids 10,13 and 15). He’s always happy to chat on Twitter @GeekDadGamer or email book[at]


Talking #Fortnite and other Games with @GeekDadGamer on @PremierRadio

Yesterday, Premier asked if I would speak on the popular game Fortnite, especially in the light of the NSPCC concerns about ‘inappropriate contact’, and Matt Hancock’s comments about its addictiveness. Business Insider gives a useful overview of why the game is so popular, and BusinessCloud talks to a games developer who stresses ‘personal discipline’. I knew I could speak on this, but know that Andy Robertson could speak on it even better as this is his specialism! My book Raising Children in a Digital Age provides a lot about wider culture, but it’s quite light on gaming!  Here you can hear what Andy had to say on the Premier Newshour:

If you want a little something more to read, and some more of Andy’s advice, he’s written this great guide on AskAboutGames:

And as a record for myself/Facebook friends: Facebook chat on the topic.

Digital Media & Press Media - Audio

[AUDIO] Chatting about Children & Gaming @PremierRadio

This morning was an opportunity to chat about a growing concern (but also a growing opportunity!) for many parents, especially as it’s half-term for many – what are healthy habits to undertake regarding your children and their gaming devices – there’s three segments for this (or listen to the whole Inspirational Breakfast programme on Premier Radio:

Chatting with Bex Lewis:

Chatting with Kelvin Whittaker

Chatting with Leanne Bell

Media & Press Media - Audio

[PRESS] On @PremierRadio : Children and Social Media, Gaming and Addiction


Earlier this morning I was live on Inspirational Breakfast for Premier Radio. Listen to the show online – I come in at about 8.10am. Take the opportunity to try Guardians of Ancora.

*Note that I’m currently completing a chapter on how the digital has affected those working with those dealing with abuse, addiction and difficult behaviour for a second edition of The Christian Handbook of Abuse, Addiction and Difficult Behaviour