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  • Writer's pictureJamie Russell

Virtual School Visits

The downside of launching a book for young readers in July is that school is almost out. Fortunately, I've been able to sneak in a couple of virtual school visits before the end of the summer term.

I've been doing free 30 minute chats with classes across the UK, building on a talk I wrote for the National Literacy Trust's Connecting Stories campaign back in January.

In the visits I look at the inspiration behind SKYWAKE: INVASION, discuss my love of sci-fi novels, and then give a quick talk entitled "Why Videogames Are Actually Good For You & Can Help You Read More Books (Guaranteed To Convince Your Teachers)".

Students love this!

The presentation covers everything from how Space Invaders caused Japan to run out of coins to the latest scientific research on how videogames can train your brain and increase literacy. SKYWAKE is all about the real world value of videogames and I talk a lot about how gaming can increase empathy, cooperation and problem solving skills.

My favourite bit of each session is when I ask the class about their favourite games and students talk to me about their adventures in Minecraft, Overwatch and Fortnite.

So. Many. Stories!

I'm hoping to start doing in-person visits in the autumn, complete with some proper retro gaming items to put in students' hands. Looking forward to showing today's kids what gaming was like back in the day.

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