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  • Writer's pictureKelli Dunlap

Talking about games and feelings on NPR

Back in March I received a message from Yuki Noguchi, an NPR science desk correspondent, about helping parents figure out how to support their kids and find balance with video games.

It's always so refreshing to be asked to talk about games in a way that acknowledges the complexity of play and the nuance of games. There's definitely no easy answer, and even good answers vary based on the age of the kiddo, the relationship they have with the parent, and the parent's own comfort level with talking about tech.

As I tell parents all the time, anything done to excess is excessive. While games can be designed in ways that are exploitative (I'll get to a post on dark design patterns at some point!), most games just want to entertain and to be enjoyed.

You can use games to improve your social connection, to practice feeling emotions we normally avoid, like guilt or grief or shame. A lot of games bring those feelings out in us, and they give us a space to play with those feelings.

Also quoted in the article were some other great voices including research psychologist Peter Etchells, Michael Rich, a pediatrician and director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital, and Ohio State communications professor Jesse Fox.


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