Review: A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming

[Ed’s note: Updated in 2016, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming has expanded its journey to include and acknowledge the huge impact Virtual Reality (VR) technologies will (and already does!) have on gaming as both a hobby and a noble pursuit. Moreover, the updated version digs a little deeper, offering up some keen insights into the industry, but also reflecting upon a facet of life that many of us don’t actively realise: as parents to children born in the 90s and beyond, our children are raised in a world that is highly driven by the interactive nature of gaming and related industries. As the influence of the internet has taken hold on many (if not all) aspects of our lives, we are all gamers, in some way…and so are our children]

Video games often get a bad reputation, and are sometimes cast off as “those silly games kids play too much”.
But, gaming is a way of life for many of us and, it’s probably (if you’re reading this) had a level of impact on your life too.

Look around – do you have a console, mobile device, computer in your home?
Congratulations – you’re part of the gaming lifestyle.

As pervasive as gaming has become in our lives – just a quick glance will tell you that gamification has become an esteemed technique in the worlds of education and business – what do we really know about the industry behind it? What process occurs to create a game, from concept to screen time? And, that’s what author, Oliver Snyders, is highlighting for us, in his new book A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming.

As a parent, the most common question I answer starts with the word “why”.
Now I can answer those “why” questions around gaming with ease.

A Gamers Guide to Gaming

This refreshing, slightly nostalgic, read takes the big wide world of video gaming and turns it accessible. Oliver’s witty and often humorous take on gaming is thoroughly enchanting and, while he tackles the sometimes hard topics that surface in the media around gaming, he does it in a way that’s measured and with purpose.

Reflecting on his own life journey with gaming (you also have great memories of playing Pacman!), Oliver uses funny pop culture references, references to memes and even includes a small nod to the Spice Girls (yes,I saw that!).

An intelligent and insightful look into the world of gaming, Oliver examines the big and small aspects of this interesting realm, encapsulating the big company approaches and bringing in player insights from behind the screen.

Pulling apart some common misconceptions around video games, Oliver slays the idea that gaming is a solitary pursuit, replacing it with the notion that gaming is actually highly social. He also touches on the incredible educational opportunities to be discovered through gaming, along with the primary goal of gaming – to have fun.

While reading, I felt much like Alice did, when she fell down the rabbit hole. Guided by a Mad Hatter like Oliver, this has been an enchanting adventure into the world of gaming that begins right here, in our homes.

Do you play? Do your kids play? Do your kids want to play? Are you keen to get back into gaming?

You should read this.

Order your copy here and catch up with author, Oliver Snyders here.



Cath Jenkin

As a mom, Cath raises her daughter with a strong focus on technology, as she believes that digital literacy is as important as learning to read. With a long history of creating content for online and print publications, and in particular as a parenting columnist, Cath brings her curious mind... Read more


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