Review: A Parent’s Guide to Video Games

This is your brain on video games

Here’s a fact: the holidays are upon us. It’s a time of cheer, good will towards man and present wish lists. If you are like me, you probably have a little gamer ( or an adult) with a few games on their list. Can you blame them? Around this time of year, we are inundated with commercials for the latest games, consoles and accessories. Black Friday, often has these items on sale and make us stand in line hoping to snag a deal. However, as a parent, how do we determine if the game our children want is right for them? Or rather, should they even be playing them at all? As video games evolve, so do our concerns. Dr. Rachel Kowert’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is an informative book to aid you this gift giving season.

A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is like the cliff notes on the concerns that parents have when it comes to video games and how they effect their kids. Dr. Rachel Kowert examines everything from video game addiction, social skills, violence and cognitive behavior. Kowert does this in a friendly and factual manner that is without prejudice. The tone of the book gives the feel of having a discussion with a fellow parent. She never beats you over the head with information, she just presents it. As a parent myself, I appreciated this. Nothing is more annoying than someone trying to tell you how to be a parent. A Parent’s Guide to Video Games just wants to help you make an informed decision on your own.

The book itself is about 100 pages; which makes it an easy read. Common concerns associated with video games are given its own chapter; and is broken down into frequently asked questions related to the concern. Dr. Kowert than presents scientific research to answer these questions. Important answers/information are in red and has icons to indicate if the information is negative or positive. At the end of the chapter, everything is summed up in the “Take Home Message” with a teal house icon. There is also an advice section that accompanies the “Take Home Message,” which is also in teal but with a lightbulb icon. This format is helpful for those who just want the gist of things. At the end of A Parent’s Guide to Video Game, there is a frequently asked questions section; which are questions people have asked Dr. Kowert. As well as Kowert’s conclusion on video games and how they effect children.

Overall, I found this book to be insightful. Dr. Rachel Kowert’s unbiased approach allowed me to form an opinion on my own. Video games, like all things in life, have pros and cons. It’s up to us as parents, adults and consumers to decide what is best. Kowert says in the book that headlines about video games, “often draw up fear.” A Parent’s Guide to Video Games will eliminated the “fake news” about video games and give you the facts. If you are a parent or just fascinated by the science of video games and the mind; you’ll enjoy this book.

A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is available on Amazon to purchase.  You can also learn more about Dr. Rachel Kowert on her website. 

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