Social Gaming for Kids
September 19, 2020 2:31 PM   Subscribe

My 11 year old would like to have more avenues for social contact, ideally via a video game. I am not video game fluent so am seeking suggestions for games that meet the following criteria:

1. Suitable for 10-13 year olds
2. Appeals to 10-13 year olds (so they won't roll their eyes at me when I suggest it)
3. Allows for remote play with friends
4. Allows for direct spoken conversation via headset
5. Is not Fortnite (kid's friends aren't into it anymore)
6. Available on Xbox or Switch

Hit me with your recommendations, please!
posted by lizifer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Among Us and Fall Guys are the hot multiplayer party games of the moment, I think.
posted by crazy with stars at 2:35 PM on September 19 [4 favorites]

Among Us and Fall Guys are the hot

Yes. Also, Minecraft is a perennial 3rd space for pre-teens.

4. Allows for direct spoken conversation via headset

If the game doesn't have it natively, use Discord. Probably use it anyway if the game has voice chat, as there's a lot of crappy people on games.
posted by signal at 2:52 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]

My 14 year old gamer says you can't use Discord with the XBox or Switch, but while playing on the XBox you can voice chat with anyone in your party. Among Us doesn't have voice chat as part of the game, but they could be talking to each other anyway if they were on XBox. (My kids are playing Among Us right at this moment.) For something guaranteed to be okay for 10-13 year olds he suggested Astroneer. He also suggested Destiny 2 or Halo as games that incorporate voice chat, if you and the friends' parents don't think they're too violent.
posted by Redstart at 3:33 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]

My nephew in that age group (also 'over' Fortnite) is really into Roblox, Rocket League, and the Splatoon games. He also returns to Minecraft every so often.
posted by lovecrafty at 3:53 PM on September 19

You can use Discord while playing the game (it has an app), it may just not be integrated with the game or the system so the sound coming from the TV may carry over into the conversation. It's like being on a phone call with a friend while you play. That's often an advantage as far as I'm concerned, as you can talk to your friends and not any randos who might be there.

Switch games also allow voice communication over the Nintendo app.

Seconding Astroneer and Rocket League and Fall Guys. Overcooked 1 and 2 are both great but a little better for couch co-op. Splatoon 2 is really fun but not sure how active the community is. Mario Kart 8 may do online coop?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:27 PM on September 19

Fall Guys, Valorant and Among Us, per my social gamer 12 year old. She's also still super into Minecraft, but just the PVP aspect of it, not so much the worldbuilding.
posted by gaspode at 7:42 AM on September 20

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