Admin, Hub Stuff

New Developments For 2017

We have a number of planned changes and updates to GameHub for the New Year, but we need your feedback in order to decide what to implement and when! GameHub has always been built in response to parents’ needs, wants and concerns – your input drives everything we do. So please, if there is anything not in the list below that you’d like to see added, drop us a line in the comments box and let us know!

New developments for 2017:

  • We are going to move all blog content on gamehubhq.wordpress.com to the main site at gamehubHQ.com, creating a true “hub” of parental guidance for games.
  • After some testing, we are going to make visual improvements and tweaks to the landing screen, as it can appear faint on screens where there is “low contrast” (the colours are not as bright and distinct as they could be.)
  • Our “Word of the Week,” jargon busting column, is ending, and will be replaced by a new regular feature in February. We think we’ve taught you all the mad words of gaming you need!
  • Funding drive, to keep GameHub alive the way you want it!

And, of course, we will be attending all our regular national level events, including the Norwich Games Festival, Yorkshire Games Festival, GameCity Festival, Eurogamer Expo and the Women In Games Conference! Look out for our representative and always feel welcome to ask questions about the work that we do.

hub-photo

Hub Stuff, Office Favourites

GameHub’s Top 5 Educational Apps For Kids

When learning is fun it doesn’t feel like learning, which is precisely why video-games and apps can be such great tools to help children. They think they’re just playing, while you know that they’re actually brushing up on their numeracy skills or improving their use of language. It’s a win for everyone! But with so many apps and games available it’s hard to know which ones are worth using. As part of our #GameSmart campaign, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite educational games for pre-schoolers and beyond.

Wee Puzzles

  • Who’s it for: Children 5 and under
  • What does it do? As the name suggests, it’s a puzzle game.
  • What’s so good about it? This game is perfect for teaching little ones shape recognition and it also develops hand-to-eye coordination. There are 50 puzzles to play with, all with child-friendly themes, such as dinosaurs, farm animals and trains. Perhaps best of all, it’s also totally intuitive. Players simply drag and drop the puzzle pieces to complete the picture, and are rewarded with a cute animation when they finish each board. It’s a great app to have loaded to your phone to keep small children amused while you’re out and about.
  • Cost: $2.99, with no in-app purchases.
  • Find out more with our parental report:http://www.gamehubhq.com/slug/wee-puzzles/basic
  • PS: We are running a great competition for you to win this game for your family! Just retweet to win via Twitter!

Quick Math Jr

  • Who’s it for? Ages 3 to 7
  • What does it do? Quick Math Jr is great for any little ones who could do with improving their maths skills.
  • What’s so good about it? Essentially a collection of counting and number games, the app injects some fun into arithmetic with colourful monsters who follow along with the action as the game is played. These crazy characters can also be customised by the player, and new facial features can be unlocked by progressing through the game. Best of all, there is a protected section of the app which allows parents to actually track their children’s progress. It’s cute, quirky, math-y fun!
  • Cost: Free download, offers in app purchases.
  • Find out more, read our report here: http://www.gamehubhq.com/slug/quick-math-jr/basic

Toca Nature

  • Who’s it for: Ages 4 and up
  • What does it do? It encourages creativity and free-form play by allowing children to create their own forest.
  • What’s so good about it? There are no limitations with this game. Players roam around their very own forest where they can build and change the landscape, feed the animals or simply observe what’s unfolding. There are no specific tasks to complete, leaving young players to enjoy the game as they direct play themselves which encourages free-form expressive play. There is a section for parents, which gives suggestions for questions you can ask your children as they play, adding to the learning experience.
  • Cost: £2.49, no in app purchases.
  • Find out more, read our report here:  http://www.gamehubhq.com/slug/toca-nature/basic

Alphabear

  • Who’s it for? Ages 8 and up
  • What does it do? Teaches literacy skills, rewards players with adorable bears to collect.
  • What’s so good about it? Think of Alphabear as a jazzed up version of scrabble, with the added bonus of fun little bears! The aim of the game is to construct the longest words possible from the letters on the board. When a letter tile is removed, it is replaced by a bear. As more letter tiles are removed, the bears get bigger and are worth more points. When a player scores enough points they receive a bear to keep, which makes Alphabear a great choice for children who respond well to rewards. They’re improving their vocabulary, and will want to keep on playing to collect more bears.
  • Cost: Free, but does offer in-app purchases.
  • To find out more read our parental report: http://www.gamehubhq.com/slug/alphabear/basic

Puzzle Bonsai

  • Who’s it for? Ages 10 and up
  • What does it do? An edutainment puzzle game that tests numerical and linguistic skills.
  • What’s so good about it? This game will really give kids a mental workout. Players are set the challenge of balancing equations of numbers, letters and shapes which must be solved to progress – as you might expect each round becomes increasingly difficult.  And if that sounds tricky it is, the game actually helps the player practice concepts in logic and numerical and linguistic reasoning at the level similar to an 11+ exam. That said, many players find that it’s a soothing game to play thanks to the graphics and chilled music.
  • Cost: It’s £0.79p to download.
  • Read our parental report to find out more: http://vwww.gamehubhq.com/slug/puzzle-bonsai/basic

 

Hub Stuff

Which Games Go On GameHub?

I was asked a question today that I thought would be worth answering more publicly, because it was a good one and because I thought it’d give an insight into how we work. It was this:

There are so many games out there! How do you decide which ones to cover on GameHub?

The short answer is: in an ideal world, all of them! We are looking into systems that would allow us to do just that, but at this point such an option is several years away yet. The slightly longer answer is that there is no hard and fast set of rules. Multiple factors apply, including:

  • Have we been specifically asked to cover the game by a parent? – We are always open to requests.
  • Is the game easy to categorize from a quick glance? – We tend not to cover an over-abundance of  things like LEGO Games, for example, as they are clearly for children, and the majority of parents do not report having any issues with the content when they have purchased them for their children. We do one or two every now and again, to keep current, but it’s not worth our while to do every single one, because parents tend to know and trust the brand.
  • Have we been specifically asked to cover the game by a teacher? – Some teachers report certain games that have become popular in their school, for one reason or another.
  • Is it a popular brand that parents want to know more about? – Minecraft, anything with Lara Croft in it, Skylanders and similar “big brand” titles are games parents want to understand.
  • Is it “hot” right now? – Rocket League and Monument Valley being prime examples.
  • Is it a small studio that offers something parents tell us they are looking for? – Educational games, particularly for pre-school maths and language skills, are the kind of games parents report they are actively seeking to buy.
  • Does it offer something exciting and unusual? – A weird new idea that might capture peoples’ imaginations? We are interested!

So as you can see, there are no hard and fast rules about which games go to the top of the review queue and which languish in the To-Do list. If there is a game you want to see on GameHub HQ, the best way you can boost it up the list it to get in contact and request it. The request bar is on the front page of http://www.GameHubHQ.com. If you need specific info right now, drop us an email and we’ll do some digging for you!

Admin, Hub Stuff

Meet The Start-Up!

Want to meet us? We are in Leicester on April the 28th giving a short 20min presentation about who we are and what we do. You can find tickets by clicking HERE or by following the link below:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meet-the-startup-gamehub-thurs-28th-april-tickets-24715088495

Tickets are free and though the event is aimed at the entrepreneurial community, any and all persons are welcome to turn up and join in. There will be an opportunity to network, mingle and ask questions too! So if you are in the area, why not drop in and say hello!

Also, keep an eye out for our Norwich photos, coming very, very soon. In fact, just as soon as I’ve finished writing this presentation! 😉

Hub Stuff

You’ve Got Everything I’m Looking For.

hey girl, GameHub meme

Want to know if a game contains violence, gore, swearing or sexual content?

GameHub knows. Because we know that parents care.

Wondering if a game offers educational or social benefits?

GameHub knows. Because we know that games can be a force for good.

Are you putting money down on a five minute distraction, or a hundred hour epic that will keep their attention for weeks? 

GameHub knows. Because when it’s the Summer Holidays or Exam Season, it makes a difference!

GameHub has all the information you are looking for to understand games, in simple, clear language written specifically for a non-gaming audience. We empower parents, guardians and teachers on all topics to do with video-games and video-games culture. GameHub is the video-game advice service for parents, and we know the answers to your questions.

Hub Stuff

Norwich Gaming Festival Begins Tomorrow!

Norwich Gaming Festival starts tomorrow!  We are pretty excited.

ngfBanner

Once again, we will be making the epic nine hour bus journey across the country to Norwich, where we will be in residence all week supporting the main show. We are there to answer YOUR questions on video-games. No question too big or too small, too simple or complex. Any time, any topic, anything! Whether you want to sit down and discuss a problem, or just want to drop an anonymous query in the question box, we’ve got a whole section to ourselves on the expo floor. The space is buggy-friendly and has nice comfy chairs, so parents, guardians, teachers, aunties, uncles and grannies and granddads and everyone in between,  come along and say hello!

Norwich Gaming Festival is one of our favourite events in the UK gaming calendar. A deliberately “family-friendly” games festival, there’s a great mixture of local, national and international games talent on display. From playable demos to the Retro showcase, to workshops and career advice, to cake-baking competitions and the famous GFest Quiz, there really is something for everyone! We are proud to be a part of Norwich Games Festival and support its aims of a friendly, inclusive gaming environment for all. We hope to see you and your family there!

norwich forum Gfest building
Come along to The Forum in Norwich.

 

Hub Stuff

2 Days Until Norwich Gaming Festival!

It’s 2 days until Norwich Gaming Festival.  We are pretty excited.

ngfBanner

Once again, we will be making the epic nine hour bus journey across the country to Norwich, where we will be in residence all week supporting the main show. We are there to answer YOUR questions on video-games. No question too big or too small, too simple or complex. Any time, any topic, anything! Whether you want to sit down and discuss a problem, or just want to drop an anonymous query in the question box, we’ve got a whole section to ourselves on the expo floor. The space is buggy-friendly and has nice comfy chairs, so parents, guardians, teachers, aunties, uncles and grannies and granddads and everyone in between,  come along and say hello!

Norwich Gaming Festival is one of our favourite events in the UK gaming calendar. A deliberately “family-friendly” games festival, there’s a great mixture of local, national and international games talent on display. From playable demos to the Retro showcase, to workshops and career advice, to cake-baking competitions and the famous GFest Quiz, there really is something for everyone! We are proud to be a part of Norwich Games Festival and support its aims of a friendly, inclusive gaming environment for all. We hope to see you and your family there!

norwich forum Gfest building
Come along to The Forum in Norwich.

 

Hub Stuff

3 Days Until Norwich Gaming Festival!

It’s 3 days until Norwich Gaming Festival.  We are pretty excited.

ngfBanner

Once again, we will be making the epic nine hour bus journey across the country to Norwich, where we will be in residence all week supporting the main show. We are there to answer YOUR questions on video-games. No question too big or too small, too simple or complex. Any time, any topic, anything! Whether you want to sit down and discuss a problem, or just want to drop an anonymous query in the question box, we’ve got a whole section to ourselves on the expo floor. The space is buggy-friendly and has nice comfy chairs, so parents, guardians, teachers, aunties, uncles and grannies and granddads and everyone in between,  come along and say hello!

Norwich Gaming Festival is one of our favourite events in the UK gaming calendar. A deliberately “family-friendly” games festival, there’s a great mixture of local, national and international games talent on display. From playable demos to the Retro showcase, to workshops and career advice, to cake-baking competitions and the famous GFest Quiz, there really is something for everyone! We are proud to be a part of Norwich Games Festival and support its aims of a friendly, inclusive gaming environment for all. We hope to see you and your family there!

norwich forum Gfest building
Come along to The Forum in Norwich.