Split screen: demystifying the world of video games

Founded by young Montreal entrepreneur Marc Shakour, Shared Screen is a bilingual online video game guide that aims to help parents (and educators) better understand the world of video games while guiding their children's and young people's play.

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Founded by young Montreal entrepreneur Marc Shakour, Shared Screen is a bilingual online video game guide that aims to help parents (and educators) better understand the world of video games while guiding their children's and young people's play.

"When it comes to movies, there are websites with directories that rank movies based on many criteria. For video games, there was no such directory. I wanted to fill that gap to inform families, because many of my relatives were asking me a lot of questions about it."

It must be said that Marc Shakour knows a lot about video games. He has always been an enthusiast. He has programmed them. He has participated in competitions and written articles about them on Multijoueur.ca and RDS Jeux Vidéo. He now teaches their programming at the School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design (NAD), for the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC). Launched in 2021, Écran partagé is a bilingual guide that he developed while training in business start-up.

Better describe the games

On which consoles is a game available? What is the difficulty level? Is there any violence? What level of language is used? "Games may be identified as "for everyone", but do you have to be able to read to play them? If so, the parent should expect to play with their preschooler. But that kind of information is not usually provided."

Marc has set up a real directory of video games. For each game (his site has more than 160 at the moment), a sheet allows you to describe it according to many criteria: release date, developer, type of game, average length of a game, number of players, economic model, etc. It classifies the games by age categories: 3 years old and up, 7 years old and up, 12 years old and up, 16 years old and up, 18 years old and up; and also by type of console.

Example of a game sheet.

It also gives comments to inform the neophytes about the games. The level of difficulty, the violence and nudity, the level of language, the positive message (or not) behind the game, the level of reading, the additional costs, the minimum level of execution on the controller are presented. His goal is to offer the most accurate and complete picture of each game.

To popularize the world of video games

On the site Shared screenHe also presents articles that popularize and explain the world of video games and the associated terms. He has developed a glossary very complete, it proposes interviews with people in the industry to promote different types of careers for youth. He also collaborates with other professionals who present articles on the psychology (e.g., brain development and video games).  
Moreover, a Facebook group has just been created to allow adults to ask their questions, to exchange on their children's screen time, on the video games they play. Marc is present in the group to give advice and recommendations. "It's all about balance. The more adults understand this world, the better equipped they will be to accompany young people."

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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