Writing reviews about what you like to do in family life is one of the best ways of getting into blogging – and this is as true of kids as it is with adults. If your children enjoy video games, then they will often find a ready audience with readers who are like-minded. Some bloggers even find that game developers will send cool stuff to review, especially if you start to build an established readership and best of all, encouraging kids to blog about the games they play will enable them to hone a whole range of skills including English language, spelling, typing and IT so it’s a great way to combine education with play.
Kids often start off reviewing things that they have bought and like, but it is important to be critical and to look for how improvements might be made for a blog to be credible. This is particularly the case when it comes to video game reviews. Sometimes, bloggers are so caught up in being a fan that they overlook issues with the latest video game releases or write their review before they have really played the game for long enough to understand it fully. For kids to really catch the bug of blogging, they need to get good feedback from readers, so this means giving a really honest appraisal of the subject matter – whether the blog is to do with games or not.
As mentioned, a review blog should not be about a first impression, but offer a more rounded view of the user experience. That said, kids’ blogs about video games should not dive into the detail immediately. Remember that anyone reading your child’s blog will be doing so because they have not yet played the game you are talking about. Therefore, you should encourage your child to start off by discussing the basic premise of the game. For example, if the game is an online Spider-Man or Avengers dodging and moving style game from Marvel Kids, then you should describe it as such early on in the blog. Likewise, if the game is a new release first person shoot-em-up that is only available on one of the popular gaming platforms, such as X-Box or PS4, then you need to say so. After that initial categorisation, the blog should then describe the basic way in which the game is played, like what controls you need, whether the game is mouse operated or not, and so on. If the game is available on mobile devices, then let your readers know this early on, too.
Once you reader knows what the game is, on what devices it can be played and how they can access it, give them an idea of what you think about it. Encourage your child to break this down into sections and get them to make a few notes on each before you start to review. Think about the graphics, the sound, the playability, the characterisations and the story line – all of them essential elements in today’s gaming world – and discuss them with your child before they blog. The readers will want to know about each and it is here that your kid’s opinions will really count. In addition, you should think about how long the game is likely to hold a player’s attention, which might be dependent on their age. Although some criticise the gaming industry for making addictive games, it is important to note that playing them has been shown to offer benefits to children, especially when puzzle-solving is involved. Remember to be fair when you review and make comparisons with other popular games so that the readers can understand where you are coming from more easily.
Make the final part of any blog post a conclusion. Ideally, this should summarise what has already been said. However, it should also bring something new to the table, like whether your children are still playing the game or have given up on it. A rating system usually works well, too. This makes it easy for readers to make up their minds about the blog post and the game your child has been reviewing.