This article is written for G Suite for Education (GSFE) admins.

Problem

Do you know kids in your school can play games simply by doing a Google search Snake or Pacman? As you can see in the screenshot, Google posted 8 games in the category of Games and Toys, Snake, Animal sounds, Tic tac toe, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Spin a dreidel, Earth Day quiz and PAC-MAN.

Free mini games like snake in Google search results
Free mini games like snake in Google search results

Your first reaction to the problem is to blacklist the game URL, like https://www.google.com/search?q=snake. Unfortunately, it's ineffective. It only covers one keyword, snake. The games can be triggered by many keywords, play snake, play snake game, the snake game, or even s n a k e, see the spaces. On the other hand, a wildcard URL blocking may overkill innocent Google searches, for example, *q=snake* kills science class keywords snake kinds.

Solution

Safe Doc chrome extension blocks all Google games at out of the box, without any configuration. If you don't know what Safe Doc is, go to Safe Doc 101.

Here is a demonstration of Safe Doc blocking google games. Safe Doc detects the game elements in the page and remove them from the search results.

If you want the game back, it's very easy to configure Safe Doc to turn off this feature. It's an one-liner in the extension policy configuration. See Safe Doc Configuration for more instructions of configuring Safe Doc.

{
  "BlockGoogleSearchGames": false
}

Just a few parting words

I'm sure students will find new ways to play games in class. If you find that or have any ideas, please leave a comment below.