Archive for the ‘parents’ Category

Follow Up: Gaming Moderation

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

If you got our January Newsletter you’ll enjoy this follow up to our “Gaming Moderation” post featuring Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk about Massively Multi-Player Thumb-Wrestling!

Looking for more information about how gaming affects our kids?


Watch Jane’s other TED Talks here.



Part 1: Gaming Moderation

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

If you are now asking about gaming addiction and your child is 7-12 years old, chances are it’s not as bad as it may seem; it’s about nipping it in the bud.

The goal is to set up initial boundaries and long term awareness. As games continue to become more and more indistinguishable from reality it opens this possibility that someone can become so immersed in a game world that they prefer it to the real world.

In the game world they are a superhero! When they do their absolute best and work hard enough they achieve success but in the real world they don’t have super powers and often times the “next level” is not attainable even when doing one’s best.

True World Fact!
“I grew up with Atari and the early Nintendo video games but never played beyond the early 90’s. Once I discovered computers I was more interested in making games and puzzles. If the games and puzzles are interesting and challenging to solve, imagine how much more fun and challenging it is to create these things.” ~ JDC

Even if you must restrict gaming time, spend some of that time learning to play the game with your child. Not to spy and steal their secrets (which you should totally do) but to gain some knowledge about what has attracted your child to the game and what value that game has to offer. (They’re going to beat you and that’s ok!)

In fact, looking closer at the kinds of games your kids are playing will tell you a lot about the skills they are learning that can benefit them in the real world. It’s not so much the game that is addictive; it’s an outlet for learning and enjoying the successes your child is developing.

Since felines are so popular on the internets we’re purrfectly comfortable using the acronym CATS for this discussion…

  • Collaborative – individual vs. social, making friends
  • Artistic – modeling, sculpting, drawing, music
  • Technical – coding, hardware, systems
  • Storytelling – writing, acting, animating

When it comes to game time it should include these elements and a way in which to channel these skills and this knowledge into the real world.

And that’s the most important part. When the real world and the virtual world are indistinguishable from one another, how will we draw our kids out of the worlds they are fighting to save, where they are the heros, where they have super powers, to come and do real world work as mere mortals?

You can kind of see why another world might be more appealing than this one that we all agree about living in.

Now, here’s the exciting part. Kids today are future innovators and entrepreneurs; they are already showing us the way!

To accomplish success in nourishing productive building-type activities is to find a balance between the right and left brain learning, the logic and math with abstract and art. Parents can seek education ventures outside of public school.

Our own programs at Spread the Weird Summer Camps are to introduce STEAM using the Arts and Tech to teach how collaboration is important to the storytelling process.

We also encourage kids to code so it’s important that we give a huge shout out to our friends at CodaKid!

Real World
“As the director of a kids coding academy, I have seen firsthand that teaching programming at an early age provides a number of important educational and developmental benefits. There is also little doubt that getting started early in one of the 21st century’s most important literacies will pay dividends as computing becomes part of nearly every profession. Here are 5 reasons why I think coding for kids is more important than parents think:” ~David Dodge

Read more at CodaKid:  Coding for kids: 5 reasons it’s more important than you think.


It really comes down to finding a balance to the right and left brains…

Jobs that require these skills will not be taken over by robots and they exist in industries beyond making cartoons and games.

  • – Architecture & Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing & Prototyping
  • Simulations & Research
  • Applied Physics & Aerospace
  • Bio Medical Sciences & Genetics
  • Organ Replacement & Prosthetics
  • Programming & Software Development

The trick is not to simply limit game time but to channel this creative, social energy into something that has value in the real world where these exact skills are needed most. We take our mission seriously at Spread the Weird Studios and CodaKid. Our qualified staff provide excellent opportunities for our youth to grow and prepare for the future of technology.

How to Channel our Kids’ Computer Time into a Passion with Purpose

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Hello Parents,

Over the years I’ve had many parents ask for advice about gaming addictions, fears their child may be growing into a hacker, securing online identities and other stories that leave parents wondering what to do about all the technology in their children’s lives.

Most times it’s not as bad as it seems because we’re nipping it in the bud, but to a parent that may not even know what their kids are doing on the computer it can sometimes seem rather scary.

This is why I’ve decided to collect all of my emails and presentations about these topics and put them all in one helpful place for all parents to benefit.
Stay t00ned for this Informative Series:


How to Channel our Kids’ Computer Time into Passion with Purpose.

– Part 1: Gaming Moderation
Learn to Channel Gaming Skills into Real World Outcomes that Benefit the Real World! Use Collaboration, Artistic, Technical and Storytelling Skills to Become Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Real world heros!

– Part 2: Hacking
Understand Hacking, What Makes it a Good Thing and How to Avoid Illegal Activity. What is a White Hat Hacker vs. a Black Hat Hacker?

– Part 3: Jobs of the Future
Jobs that Robots Will Not Be Able To Do. Finding fulfilling career paths that include Creativity and Empathy. Entrepreneurs are Storytellers.

– Part 4: Parental Controls
Password Protecting Your Family Home Network, Using a Password Manager, Setting Parental Controls with Time Restrictions and Content Filters.

– Part 5: Social Media
What is the Right Age for a Child to Join Facebook and other Social Media Sites? How to Protect your Child’s Identity, Reputation and from Making Bad Choices about What to Share Online.

– Part 6: Downloading
Teach Kids How to Avoid Getting Viruses and Malware, Understanding Bit Torrents and Pirating, Copyrights, Creative Commons and Public Domain.


Read the first in the series here

~ Jay Clayton
Spread the Weird Studio

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