Managing our childrens’ time and interactions in video games is a daunting task.
The freedom and ability provided by games empower children in a way that is stimulating and engrossing, and frankly, a lot to manage. In the real world, our children would be hard-pressed to build a tree house; in Minecraft, the average child can build a small hotel. The magnetism of games is intimidating and our childrens’ ability to find and try the next experience puts a great burden on parents who want to monitor what is influencing our children.
Parents are concerned about online safety, repetitive stress injuries, and the sedentary nature of gaming. Our children, however, focus on their immediate gratification. This dynamic creates friction between children and parents. Some parents react by not allowing game play; many more reluctantly allow their children to play, but fear they are making the wrong decision. Gamer League seeks to create a culture whereby parents have a forum and support for enforce safe and responsible gaming.
Below are some common questions parents have about video game playing and how Gamer League addresses each topic.
What if I think my kids play too many video games already?
They might be. The American Association of Pediatrics recommend (2016 recommendations) no more than 2 hours of non-educational screen time a day. Gamer League seeks to build a culture with our children where gaming is balanced with unplugged activities. Practices and games are 90 minutes long with breaks and physical activities every 20-25 minutes. Balance is part of the Responsible tenant of Gamer League.
What about gaming culture, doesn’t it reinforce misogynistic behaviors?
There’s been a fair share of bad behavior by gamers in the past years, most notably some male gamers. Gamer League is part of a solution to this behavior. Several of our tenants (e.g. Sportsmanship, Kindness, Leadership) help guide gamers to build communities and cultures that don’t discriminate anyone from joining the fun.
Will Gamer League gaming promote violence in video games?
We pick games to play that don’t promote violence or at a maximum take a very cartoon approach to common gameplay feature that emulate violence. We recommend that games based on violence should not be played or shared within GamerLeague.
Won’t game playing encourage anti-social behavior?
We hope to promote the opposite. We want to use games to bring together friends in a safe, social environment. A potentially bigger opportunity for social behavior exists between parent and child. With the right message we hope to help bridge the gap between gaming children and their parents.
What about online safety?
We don’t allow gameplay that is unrated (such as online chat). In addition, or lessons include online safety best practices.
What are other benefits of an organization like Gamer League?
Gamer League goes beyond teaching gameplay. We believe that the motivation of games provides a vector and motivation for teaching many admirable life lessons. Read the gamer tenants for more about what we believe.
What about repetitive stress injury?
We teach players about the physical dangers of unsafe gameplay. We encourage balance (including play limits) and breaks while gaming.
Where will you play your games? Are they safe?
Games will be played in the homes of of the volunteer coaches. Each coach is required to submit to and pass background checks and no member of the household may have a background involving harm to a child. Each home gaming environment requires approval from the division leader. Also, Gamer League volunteers receive mandatory training and best practices such as requiring that an adult is always paired with another adult at all times.