Video games and young children

Video games and young children

Video games and young children

Date posted: March 15, 2013

Playing video games can be a controversial topic, with opinions both for and against them. Just like other media (books, movies, TV), an age-appropriate approach with parent involvement helps promote a positive experience.


What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy.
James Paul Gee. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
A scholarly approach to video games, this book describes 36 principles of learning found in good video games. It also uses the discussion of video games to introduce work on situated cognition, New Literacy Studies, and pattern recognition.

To borrow this book, email


The literacy of video games: what kids learn, how we can help, and why it matters.
Campbell River, BC: Tremain Media, 2009.
This DVD includes expert guidance for both parents and teachers about how to value literacies already inherent in video games while addressing the more controversial aspects of game play.
This DVD is available for borrowing from the Decoda Literacy Library.

Apps and preschoolers – This is a short video with brief advice to parents on using digital media, which could include video games.


The good things about video games – positive aspects of video games, from MediaSmarts

The modern parent’s guide to video games – a free online book for parents

A parent’s guide to video games, parental controls and online safety – a guide about choosing appropriate games, setting up parental controls, and making sure children’s video game experiences are safe, from the Entertainment Software Rating Board and PTA.

PBS parents: children and media – tips and strategies for parents for all different kinds of digital media, including video games, organized by age from preschoolers to teens

Video games: special issues for young children – explores concerns parents may have about young children playing video games, from MediaSmarts

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