Screen-Free Week

Screen-Free Week is an annual event that traditionally takes place in April. Each year people from around the world make a conscious decision to turn off screens of all kinds for the week.

Understanding the rating system for video games

It’s important to know what the ratings mean on the video games your children play. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is an industry organization that has developed a rating system for computer, Internet and video games. Most games sold in North America are rated using this system.

Managing Video Game Playing in the Home - Tip Sheet

The best way to manage games in the home is to get involved in what your kids are playing. Your kids will be much more likely to follow your advice if you show them you are genuinely interested in their games.

Choosing good video games

Think about children’s interests when looking for games. Do they like sports, fantasy or strategy-style games?

Research shows that only a third of parents have discussed gambling with their children. This issue is seen as minor, mainly because parents are generally unaware of their kids’ participation in these sorts of activities. It is important to talk about it, though: research has found that family members’ views about gambling are a major influence on how likely youth are to gamble.

Game Time

In this lesson, students consider the positive aspects of video games as well as the ways in which games may take time away from other activities they enjoy. Students are introduced to the idea of balancing game and screen time with other parts of their lives and learn about the reasons why they may be tempted to spend more time playing games or find it difficult to stop playing. They then keep a diary of their game play (or another screen activity if they do not play video games) that prompts them to reflect on their gaming habits. Partway through that process, they are introduced to techniques that will help them moderate their game play and deal with the difficulties they may feel reducing game time. Finally, students reflect on the experience and develop a plan to make their game play more mindful.

English

Avatars and body image

In this lesson students are introduced to the concept of “avatars” and share their experiences creating and playing avatars in video games and virtual worlds. They then create avatars using a program that is intentionally limited in terms of available body types and gender markers, first creating an avatar of their own gender and then of the opposite gender, and then discuss the program and relate it to representations of gender and body image in games and virtual worlds and in other media. Students then create avatars using a much more flexible version of the program and compare that experience to the more limited version. Finally, students use the more versatile program to create avatars that represent how they see themselves and how they would like others to see them online and reflect on the choices that went into creating them.

English

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