Parents have so many questions and concerns about kids and video games. Are they hurting our kids? Are violent games making kids more violent? Are they playing too much? Are certain games worse than others? How do we manage the time kids spend playing games — and turn some of that time into family time? Are there any positive effects for kids who game?

And why the heck are kids so excited about watching gamers play games on YouTube instead of just playing themselves?

Well, we’ve got answers! And they’re encouraging, thanks to this fantastic, common sense, non-alarmist chat with video game expert Dr. Rachel Kowert, PhD, researcher, and author of A Parent’s Guide to Video Games.

For some really amazing research-based info and common sense advice for what to worry about — and what not to — when it comes to kids and video games, take a listen right now on your Podcast app, or just click on this link right here.

Don’t forget to subscribe Spawned with Kristen + Liz on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app, and save the episode so you can listen offline as well. Thanks so much for joining us — and extra thanks to everyone who sent us a question!

Top image by Samantha Sophia via Unsplash


A few links we mention during the show

Twitch, the leading live-streaming video platform.

Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer video series

A parent’s intro guide to Minecraft PE

Controversy around Grand Theft Auto

Common Sense Media video game reviews for families

Metacritic video game reviews for gamers


This week’s awesome sponsor 

Learn with Homer | Sponsor

Homer is the proven learn to read app for kids that we have recommended for years on Cool Mom Tech. It’s such an effective way to help kids 2 to 8 learn to read since it taps into their own passions to motivate them. They’ve built custom reading pathways around your own child’s interests, with personalized lessons and activities to get them even more excited to read every day. A recent study conducted by the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education concluded that just 15 minutes a day with Homer can increase early reading scores by 74%. So it’s not only fun, it’s incredibly effective.

And parents love the hundreds of printables, activity sheets and other educational tools you get with your subscription so you can take the learning offline, too.

Special offer for Spawned listeners:
Sign up for Homer right now through this link and get a 30 day free trial!
It makes a smart holiday gift for kids who have everything. 


Our Cool Picks of the Week

Black Mirror must-see episode: San Junipero

Rachel’s Cool Pick: Season 4 of Black Mirror is coming to Netflix! (Liz gives this pick an emphatic SECONDED!) For season 3, start with the relatively tame Nosedive starring Bryce Dallas Howard for a great sense of the series (though it freaked out Kristen); skip Playtest if you don’t want to be terrified; and be sure to check out the absolutely outstanding, unforgettable, Emmy-winning episode San Junipero (above) starring Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw…and no spoilers, promise.


Mommy Poppins: The easy, non-pretentious parents' guide to kid-friendly activities in NYC, Boston, Philly, LA, and beyond

Liz’s Cool Pick: Mommy Poppins is the parent’s non-pretentious guide to activities in the NYC metro area, Boston, Philly, LA, Houston and beyond. Especially great for finding cool kid-friendly holiday activities!


23 awesome ideas for digital subscription gifts for people who already have too much stuff |

Kristen: The Cool Mom Tech gift guide to 23 digital subscription gifts for people who don’t need more stuff. Great ideas!


Thanks for listening to Spawned! Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. And don’t forget to save or download our episode! It actually does help other people find us and that’s a holiday gift we’d love that costs you zero dollars.