Video Games & Failure to Launch

I will write a blog post about this later. For now, please listen to some thoughts related to sharing perspective on Video Games & Failure to Launch, some book recommendations, and ways to help your gamer identify and use skills in games to real life.

Book Recommendations:

  • Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
  • Super Better by Jane McGonigal

Things to Consider:

  • Thinking about the reasons for why someone would play...
  • Has it always been this way? If not, what changed?
  • How are games being used by the gamer? 
  • Is it ann escape, or a way to develop some skills?
  • What kinds of skills is this gamer learning from the game?
  • Is it a social game where connection is being offered?
  • Is it a way to test reality to channel energy or try on a different hat?
  • How can we identify the positive and negative skills or coping strategies used in games? 

Tips on Finding a Mentor

This is a video response to how to find a mentor. Although this does not answer all possible options, it's a place to start.

1) is a wiki community with user-generated content. You can probably find experts or very knowledgeable people in the fields and industries you want to be mentored in. Even if they don't mentor you, their knowledge is available for you to read.

2) SBA Small Business Association has FREE business mentors. You can call or check your local chapter for when they offer free mentoring. The emails and websites can also show you which mentor has the knowledge base you're looking for.

3) FaceBook Groups: commenting on people's posts, and asking questions can help yourself get noticed. You can start liking posts, and seeing who might be the best mentor for you.

4) Blogging: Share what you know. Mentors want to get a feel for your personality and what you already are familiar with. They need to know what you can offer, and if you're open to putting in the work to be mentored.

5) Networking events or organizations: This can happen through word of mouth, or by being invited by people in groups you're in. Have business cards or a few interesting things to say about your work handy. Make a list of what you're looking for in a mentor.

6) Make your own networking event: This is not for everyone, but it can help show people you're committed and value their connection. is also a way to find people like-minded.

7) (Not in video) Peer-consultation group. This might not be the same as having a mentor, but sharing with those in your field and offering tips and support can be beneficial, too. It's something to consider.

Important of Language & Literacy for Young Children

Some ways language and literacy can help children:

- Emotional regulation: Some children may bite or hit when they're frustrated or emotional. They are having a hard time asking for what they need, or telling us something. Adults can help develop language or identifying the emotions a child is going through to reduce biting or hitting behaviors.

- Teaching certain words that are related to a child's experience. A child is always looking around and seeing new objects

- "Name it to tame it." Labeling emotions can reduce neural firing or emotionality in our brains. When we identify emotions ourselves or for children, we help develop a child's emotional vocabulary as well as help a child feel understood.

- Labeling two emotions to a situation. It can help a child understand that sometimes we will feel conflicting emotions at the same time.

- Empathy: Hearing stories or looking at facial cues can help a child connect with others. When the verbal language isn't there, looking at facial cues and body signs can help a child connect with others. "Mommy or Daddy said to do this when someone is (emotion), etc."

- For the long-term, language and literacy can help a child increase confidence in learning. There's social comparisons and pressures to do well, but it can be noticeable when a child can't read as well as their peers. It affects performance in class and willingness to try again. Struggles with reading can lead to arguments at home to practice. So, practice early on! Pair positive experiences with attempts to read (story time at bedtime), even looking through picture books.

- Learn vocabulary words just for fun! Families are busy, so try whenever you have a few minutes. You can have words ready during bath time, a word or two during dinner, have books around the house so they're readily available.

Some Ways to Promote Literacy at Home

- Have a library. Space can be limited, so a family can always"

- Visit the local library. This can be a family tradition or ritual that a child can look back on to have positive emotions paired with reading.

- Used bookstores or estate sales: readers with large collections can sometimes donate huge lots for a cheaper price.

- Many local libraries that get an overflow of book donations have a "Buck a Bag" deal where you pay $1 for an entire bag of books.

- Newspapers or magazines: model using these for reading, read out loud sometimes to expose your child to reading and new words.

- Sight words: Words that don't follow spelling rules, and need to be memorized by learners. It can be an option to print or write labels or sight words and place them around the house to prime the brain for seeing words as objects or concepts.

- Diverse Languages: music, math, different languages in the form of text can help increase a child's awareness of different types of symbols and differentiating them.

- Singing songs: YouTube playlists can promote language in a fun and rhythmic way. If a child likes a certain song, printing lyrics out can also help them learn a few words here and there.

- Different cultures: People who speak with different accents or languages can help a child learn how to pronounce or read by making educated guesses based on their life experience and words or sentences they've heard.

- Reading to Children: Reading the and hearing the word is very different. When children have a favorite book, they start memorizing certain parts, sometimes the entire book! This can increase confidence to read, and give children a sense of mastery.

- Prewriting: Allow children to develop fine-motor skills by scribbling with pencils, crayons, and color pencils. Let them try and focus more on the attempts, instead of being "correct." Children will need time and encouragement to get their letters right. Make it a positive experience.

- Allow children to curate their own library. This can give children a chance to practice being responsible, a sense of ownership, and an opportunity to choose their own things to read.

Talking to Young Children About Their Art

Sometimes the way we talk about a young child's art can affect their self-concept, or abilities to try again. Some ways to talk to a child that is objective, and can help encourage a child to continue creating.

- "This doesn't look like (object)." Children's fine motor skills are developing. Things will not look perfect. Practice is important. To the child, the drawing might clearly look like a giraffe. Telling a child it doesn't look like one might be discouraging.

- Identifying colors used. This can help a child be more aware of what they used.

- Identify lines or shapes of lines used. This can help a child develop language and a greater awareness of their process.

- The lines can also be used to pair with emotions or their needs to express emotions through art. Adults can talk about how the art makes them feel, or the emotion they think the child is expressing. A child can always correct the adult with the emotion they wanted to express, or if they didn't have any emotion while creating.

- Acknowledge the art. Sometimes a child only needs you to look, and they go back to creating.

- "Tell me about it." "Tell me about this part." Something to try once in a while where you can see a child is very engaged or invested in their art. This can help solidify the experience of creating and their positive self-concept with an adult's attention and questions.

- Child asked, "Do you like it?" turning the question back to , "Do you like it?" Some children learn to become people pleasers and equate their identity with creating things other people like. This might limit their abilities to explore or create on their own. It's great that children can create for others, but in general, it's also important for children to have the time to make things for the sake of creating and without judgment.

Boonie Sripom, MA Coaching for artists, geeks, and gamers.