On January 29, Allen-Stevenson parents attended our first 2019 Tech Tuesday, in the newly renovated Dining Room. This Tech Tuesday focused on video games; a suggestion made after the last Tech Tuesday, which was spent discussing Fortnite solely, was such a success.
The Library Tech Team began by discussing video games as a whole, paying particular attention to giving Allen-Stevenson parents the knowledge to make informed decisions about what games their boys can play, or when they can start playing. Library Tech Commons Director Sarah Kresberg kicked us off by citing first-hand accounts from boys about their feelings regarding Fortnite, how it has both a negative and positive impact on the classroom community and how teachers have handled this.
Ms. Kresberg and Digital Media Specialist Chris Caccamise have recently taught fifth grade boys about the physical impact of video games on their bodies and had the boys do some serious reflecting about the role of gaming in their lives. “Saying ‘no games ever’ is a little impractical,” said Ms. Kresberg. "Teaching boys how to handle themselves when gaming, and teaching them about limits and alternatives such as playing outside, reading, game nights with friends or family, are just as important and crucial to teaching boys to be well-rounded members of society.”
Then, Mr. Caccamise took us on a deep dive into the world of video games. He explained the differences between rating systems, how some games that appear to be safe to play from the outside, actually have more nefarious motives and put forth the idea that many games we think are okay to play, such as Roblox, are just as bad, if not worse, than some of the big-name titles.
"Games themselves are not bad,” says Mr. Caccamise. “But every game has a target demographic. Some are for adults; some are for children. And some games you think aren’t offensive really do have some graphic scenes that children shouldn’t play. It’s important to know what your child is doing, to do your research, and to stay informed.”
Not to focus too much on the negative, and to reinforce the positive aspects of gaming, the Library Tech Team provided a list of educational and fun gaming alternatives.
To aid parents in their search, the Library Tech Team has provided a list of valuable resources, which were included in their presentation. They can also be found in the Tech Tuesday section of aslibrary.net or here.