Last year, my son's elementary school had a chess club. I had the chance to help out with that, and I thought it was brilliant. The kids, mostly third through fifth graders, with nearly as many girls as boys, took to it quickly. By the end of the year, some of them even started to go beyond merely understanding the rules, to really understanding the mechanics behind the game.
The strategies behind chess, the analysis, the evaluations, the situational awareness, the planning, and the risk taking, are all things these students can use outside of gaming to solve problems in the classroom, in social situations, at future careers, and at life. I felt that seventy-five minutes a week, just playing chess, wasn't enough. This was something these kids really needed to take home. They needed to be able to get their parents involved, and to continue playing, growing, and learning. I also felt that chess alone was not teaching enough.
I had an idea for a YouTube video series; a sort of Good Eats meets tabletop gaming. The idea was for a series that would be targeted not just at the kids, but at the parents of kids. The series would expose parents to the different games that are available, and help them pick games that they and their family would enjoy.
I can very easily get a young, eager mind like my son to learn to play chess. I don't know that my wife is as interested, and I know there is no way I'm going to be able to teach my mother. Yet, my son plays a variety of games with his mother and his grandmother, and they all enjoy it immensely.
The reality of the video series is this: it is beyond me. I know what I want to put it in, but I don't have the experience doing that. I could try to put up something crude, and beg for patience as it gets better. I could, but there are plenty of horrible, low quality, unfocused, and generally less-than-helpful videos out there on the subject that are hard to sit through and in the long run, aren't going to capture and engage the audience that I want to reach.
I feel that I must continue to pursue the video series as I envision it. To do that, I need help. To anyone that reads this, if there is something you can contribute, an idea, experience, expertise, equipment, know-how, please let me know. If you want to get involved in this project, if you want to help, please let me know. Eventually, we will be able to put this together and get it out there, and help parents bringing gaming into their families.