While the gaming industry is under more external scrutiny than ever as it deals with complaints about loot boxes and addiction courtesy of tabloid hysteria, a UK charity is using video games to help children reconnect with their estranged parents.

As reported in the Slough Express, the Louis Baylis Trust has awarded Church Street Child Contact Centre a modest grant of just under 700 to purchase consoles and video games to give children a safe, relaxing space and enable them to play with their family members by way of "an effective icebreaker".

While most of its funding is ring-fenced for core running costs, this additional award permits the charity to buy the games and equipment it says it needs to help families learn to communicate and work together.

"We find it's a good way of breaking the ice, especially with older children that haven't seen their estranged parents in a long time, it's a way of working together," said Jean Smith, of the Church Street Child Contact Centre.

"We provide a safe and friendly environment for the children and support relationships with estranged parents if there's not a place for them to meet. We probably wouldn't be able to run the way we do without grant money, it's absolutely brilliant and fantastic."

There are many other Child Contact Centres all over the UK, so if you've got an age-appropriate game or two that you no longer need and have been thinking about part-exchanging, perhaps look up them up, make a donation, and keep these positive stories about gaming going!

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Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake

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When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.

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