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Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play – R.K. Holliday | Insightful Look At The Modern Obsession With Game Streaming

***This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own**

Title image for Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play by R K Holliday
Author: R.K. Holliday
Genre: Non-fiction
Published: April 2019

Synopis

Are your kids always on YouTube or Twitch?In the midst of social media, toxic news, and insanely complicated research, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to know “what” their kids are seeing on the internet and understanding “why” they’re clamoring for more, it’s easy to lose sight of how we got here and why our kids are into this strange, new trend.In this easy to understand book, R.K. Holliday offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of a child’s life way back when, in his day, and now. Outlining reasons centered on no-agenda, normal observations, he shows that we need to understand what’s behind the screen to understand what’s making our kids tick. We need to put ourselves in our kids’ shoes with little grace and understanding.Freed from the burden of trying to understand complex studies that simply don’t apply to everyday kids, we can embrace a good perspective of video games and streaming that will enrich your understanding of why children can’t get enough of YouTube and Twitch streaming.
(Taken from Amazon)

My Review

I was interested in reading Alone Together for several different reasons – one, I’m a massive gamer; two, I also like watching streamers play games; and three, I’m passionate that gaming is a positive and skills-focused hobby for kids and adults alike, and not a pointless, unsociable activity that consists of staring at a screen and nothing more. I’ve come across too many people with the latter opinion and so I was excited to read a book that seemed to come from a more positive perspective.

Cover image for Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play by R K Holliday
Come image for Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play

It’s important to note that Holliday hasn’t written an opinion piece here, which I really like. It could have quite easily turned into “Why your kids watching others play is actually a really good hobby and you should encourage it at all costs” but it hasn’t – whilst the author shows the many positives to gaming and watching streams and why it can be beneficial for children, he’s quick to balance this out with any cons of the activity too. There are no comparisons of generational upbringings with one being better than the other, but rather a display of their similarities and differences and why that might be. I’d go so far as to say this is one of the least biased books I’ve read in a long while, which is great considering the author is very pro-gaming.

What this book is there for really is simply to give us insight into the phenomenon of watching streamers play live games on Twitch and the like, and explain why it might be that kids are so drawn into it nowadays. The book has several chapters, each structured in the same way – what the situation was like in the 50s and 60s, the 80s and 90s when Holliday was a child, and finally the current day. I thought this was a really good way to format the book as it allowed for an in-depth understanding of each time frame at the same time, making it easy to draw comparisons and see how society and access to technology affects kids and their desires. I also liked the use of definitions at the start – some gaming and streaming language is confusing so this made the book much more accessible for a wider audience.

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Final Thoughts

Holliday is quick to explain that the book is not a parenting manual, however it’s a very good read for any parents who have kids that are interested in gaming and may help lessen that gap of misunderstanding that can happen so easily with parents and kids who grew up with very different technology. Even though I don’t have kids myself I do have a stepdaughter so it was useful for me in that respect, plus it even taught me a few things about myself and why sometimes I’m happy to listen to a streamer play a game in the background rather than playing it myself. It’s a relatively short book (I read it all in one sitting) so there’s no excuse not to pick it up and gain a new perspective on a topic that may have completely baffled you.

Purchase Links

If you’d like to purchase Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play then you can do so here:

Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play by R. K. Holliday – Amazon UK
Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play by R. K. Holliday -Amazon US

Author Bio

R. K. Holliday was born and raised in central Mississippi. He was a psychologist and software developer before shifting to publishing and writing. 
He lives in Winter Park, Florida and is often sunburned. The Edifice: Book One is his debut into fiction and Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play is his first non-fiction.
(Taken from Amazon)

Do your kids enjoy gaming streams as well as playing games? Tell me in the comments! Please also like and pin if you enjoyed this post. You can check some of my other non-fiction book reviews here:

Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig
Culture Smart! Colombia – Kate Cathey
The Clouds Beyond Us – Rahf AlRashidi

Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play by R.K. Holliday Pinterest graphic

27 thoughts on “Alone Together: Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play – R.K. Holliday | Insightful Look At The Modern Obsession With Game Streaming

  1. Like you I love playing video games & in high school I always watched streamers play. This book does sound interesting especially since I do have a daughter. I’ll definitely have to check this book out.

    Karalee
    Tales of Belle

    1. Haha I like funny gaming videos though! I don’t actively watch any but end up seeing them as my partner pretty much always has a stream on. I like the speed runs of games!

  2. This book sounds interesting. It sounds like the author knows how to draw the reader to understand his overall point without taking a specific side. My brother is obsessed with gaming and wants to incorporate it into his career and i always doubted the educational value in it, so this is a book i should probably get into lol.

    1. Yeah that’s what I loved about it – it’s so unbiased. Might be worth a read then! The gaming industry is actually worth more than the film industry and the music industry so an amazing career choice! Lots of educational value in it as well, with many people holding degrees and masters. (sorry, my Careers Advisor side is coming out!)

  3. This book sounds very interesting! My little brother is always glued to his games and watches YouTube gamers nonstop and it drives my parents nuts. Maybe I should get them this book haha!

    1. Haha maybe! It really puts it into perspective, and I think readers who don’t get it will understand by the end that perhaps they’re not so different to viewers of streams after all.

  4. This is a really interesting book topic. I’m not really a gamer but for some reason I still really enjoy watching Twitch streams and the like! It’s good to hear this book isn’t biased, and that it compares today’s youth with previous generations. Sounds like a really well-researched and informative read!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

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