The Gaming Project

The Gaming Project


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What do we do?

The Gaming Project offers specialist groups for young people who enjoy video games. We intentionally use the positive aspects of gaming to deliver youth work. Games are a vehicle we use to bringing young people together, support them develop learn new skills and express their creativity. We take a young person led approach to our work, supporting young people to pursue their passions and interests.

However, we also recognise that like any hobby or interest, playing digital games can have a negative impact on young people’s wellbeing. Our programmes promote healthy behaviours whilst gaming such as when to take breaks, how to control temper in game and using the internet safely. Young people have shared that this helps them enjoy gaming more, preventing their digital gaming from negatively other parts of their lives.

To quote some of the young people:

‘This is the best thing EVER, normally I just play games on my own but this way I can do it and be social’

‘I really mean it, this is the BEST part of my week, I love it here’

‘One of the best things I’ve learned is to have boundaries in my gaming’

Ordinarily, there are several different Gaming Groups across multiple sites, embedded into CRYS’ centres and delivered by youth workers based in each. In these groups, young people can be involved in youth work that specifically focuses on the needs of young gamers. If young people are nervous or don’t feel able to join groups immediately, we will also do whatever we can to support them and ensure that they receive the support they need, normally in partnership with other CRYS projects such as the YARC.

In addition, we also provide lots of fun gaming events throughout the year, such as our Game-Fest event that works like a mini-gaming convention for young people, and our Game-Fest Summer Camp that we facilitate in partnership with IT Carlow.

*What can Young People expect?*

Gaming groups offer a space where young people can be open about the games they enjoy and meet others who also love gaming, with youth workers who will support them. In many of our youth centres we have been building ‘gaming spaces’ (pictured below) containing games and systems that are both new and retro. In these spaces, young people can express their creativity, play games in a social way, develop technical skills and make new friends with similar interests.

Our normal groups are limited to around 13 young people as this creates the best environment for everyone to feeling included and supported. However, throughout the year there are larger events such as our Game-Fest Summer Camp, Taster Days and big gaming events that are open to large amounts of young people. We want to provide the best possible opportunities to young gamers, so we listen carefully to what young people say and are always up for exploring new ideas.

*What can Parents expect?*

The confidence that young people are supported by a team of well trained and experienced Youth Workers, Youth Support Workers, and Volunteers. The knowledge that young people will be in a safe, comfortable, fun environment.

It might also be encouraging to hear that this project has been featured as an international example of good practice ( ), and that young people attending Game-Fest Summer Camp won a national ESB Tech-Fest award for their technical and creative achievements.

*For further information, contact*

During social distancing, we delivering our programmes online. If you would like to join, please contact the worker responsible for each project directly:


*Carlow – Vault Centre* – (Part of the Vault Youth Project)
Contact: Adam, (086) 1449917 or

Tuesday Gaming Group – Secondary Age, 7:00 – 8:30

*Note: Ordinarily there are two groups in the Vault, these have merged during lockdown.
*Carlow – Community Projects* (Part of the Community Projects)
Ruth, (086) 8054601 or
Mairead, (085) 7897279 or

Monday 7pm – Switch online, 13-15 yrs old (Ruth)
Monday 7pm – PS4 online, 13-15 yrs old (Mairead)

Tuesday 4pm – Switch online, 8-12 yrs old (Ruth)
Tuesday 7pm – PS4 online, 13-15 yrs old (Mairead)

Thursday 3pm – Junior Gaming, 8-12 years old
Thursday 7pm – Senior Gaming, 13-15 yrs old

*Tullow Group* (Part of Tullow Youth Project)
Contact: Armands, 0867806406 or

Tuesday Gaming Group – 3:00 – 4:00
Friday Gaming Group (aka Delta Force!) – 3:00 – 4:00

If you are interesting in joining a specific group, please contact the worker coordinating the group:

Adam, (086) 1449917 or
Ruth, (086) 8054601 or
Mairead, (085) 7897279 or
Armands, 0867806406 or

If you are interested in the project as a whole or would like to discuss this unique approach to gaming, please contact Tom Manning (Project Coordinator).

Tom, (086) 7525587 or

Tom is completing a research project with IT Carlow regarding how youth services can best respond to young people for whom digital gaming is a primary or dominant interest, a project that provided the foundation for this project. Some young people and families have voluntarily chosen to be part of this, speak to Tom if you would like to find out more about this research.

The Gaming Project is Funded by Healthy Ireland and the Young People Facilities and Services Fund through Kilkenny and Carlow ETB and Department of Children and Youth Affairs.