Continuing our recent series of articles looking at some of the most useful resources for parents and guardians who want to make gaming a positive part of their families' lives, this week we're turning our attention to Youtube.
If you've got youngsters who love games in your family, you'll likely know that today Youtube serves as the destination for getting gaming news, reviews and insights. Many of the top Youtubers are as popular as some of the best-known video games there are. And some make a lot of money. That does mean there are a lot of other users broadcasting gaming content on the platform, in the hope that they become one of the most successful... which makes finding the channels that are appropriate for your family rather tricky. There are so many to choose from.
So we've picked four of the best for you:
It's worth noting that with no specific 'age rating' system being universal to Youtube content, we'd advise you check any of these channels yourself before letting your kids see them. They certainly should only offer appropriate content. But what is appropriate to one family might not be to another. Following the links below to each channel's homepage, you can click on 'videos' to get a sense of the type of content they upload. We at AskAboutGames can't guarantee what any channel will upload in the future. And we haven't had a chance to individually check the hundreds and hundreds of videos the below have uploaded. But they certainly should provide family-friendly content. In an ideal world you should check any Youtube video before letting a child see it; especially younger children.
• FGTeeV is the big one in terms of popularity. With over 8.5 million subscribers it is hugely well watched. Covering games like MineCraft, Roblox, Fortnite and Pokémon, it is lively, silly and posts a lot of content. Being a US channel, some of the information is biased to the States (so release dates and such), but its popularity means it is one your kids might readily watch with you.
• Close to home in the UK (and hugely popular too) we have FamilyGamerTV. Created and run by the former – and soon returning – AskAboutGames editor Andy Robertson, it is tremendously well trusted, and great at keeping parents informed with realistic, thoughtful and detailed information. It's certainly entertaining enough to keep your youngsters delighted; but you can be sure you'll get informed and reliable information made with parents in mind. That's why you'll often see it spotlighted in places like national newspapers.
• One for the kids that parents might enjoy too also hails from the UK. Definitely daft but promising to always be made with younger viewers in mind, Mr Stampy Cat – AKA StampyLongHead – found fame when Minecraft was an emerging sensation. Today there's still lots of MineCraft content, but also plenty on games like Splatoon, Super Mario, Stardew Valley and Zelda. Again, this isn't made with parents in mind, but as we always say at AskAboutGames, engaging with your kids' love of games through joining in watching (or playing) the content they enjoy is a great way to build up trust, making it easier when you have to have harder conversations about appropriate gaming.
• With over 2 million subscribers, young British Youtuber EthanGamerTV comes under the 'made by kids for kids' category (though in reality Ethan's parents manage and maintain the channel in terms of admin and representing their son). A specialist in mobile and tablet games as well as Roblox and MineCraft, Ethan's focus is on having fun, rather than winning and competing. And all the content is designed to be age appropriate for younger viewers. Being a 'kid gamer' channel, it's not specifically made for parents... but it's another great one to watch with your younger family members, so you can keep you ear to the rail of what children think about gaming.