Video Games’ Blackness Problem

“Video games have a blackness problem. This has been a known thing for a while, and we do talk about it from time to time. But I’d like to keep talking about it. When they appear at all, black video game characters are often reduced to outdated, embarrassing stereotypes.” – Evan Narcisse, Kotaku

Troubled Lands

“Explore the geopolitics of climate change in Troubled Lands, a 30-min educational game for ages 10 to Adult. Playable as a classroom activity and ideal grades 6 through college, it is a simple to learn yet morally provocative game that requires players to address competing motivations of self-preservation and group loyalty. Many sustainability themes including communal negotiation, governance, inequality, power, and the tragedy of the commons are present in the game. Troubled Lands has been successfully used to support learning in many courses. Troubled Lands is a revised version of a game called The Farmers about which several academic articles have been written.” – Troubled Lands

Climate Challenge

“Currently there is a growing consensus amongst climate researchers that Earth’s climate is changing in response to manmade greenhouse gas emissions. The main debate amongst scientists is focussed on the amount of climate change we can expect, not whether it will happen. With the current level of debate in mind, the BBC decided a game might be a good introductory route into climate change and some of the issues this creates for governments around the world.” – BBC

Integrating Climate Change Mechanics Into a Common Pool Resource Game

“The topic of climate change offers unique challenges to simulation game designers largely because standard game mechanics fail to capture the complexity of this real-world problem. Climate change dynamics are characterized by the second-order delayed effects of carbon emissions on global temperatures and by political actors, who often have unique individual goals and asymmetrical abilities.”

Walden

“Walden, a game, is a first person simulation of the life of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. The game begins in the summer of 1845 when Thoreau moved to the Pond and built his cabin there.” – Official Game Page

Video games encourage Indigenous cultural expression

“Video games are robust forms of creative expression merging design, code, art and sound. Unfortunately, many games misrepresent or appropriate from Indigenous communities by falling back on stereotypes or including cultural content without involving Indigenous people in the development process. But done right, games have the potential to be self-determined spaces, where Indigenous people (meaning First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Native American, Maori, Aboriginal and similar communities) can express themselves on their own terms.” – Elizabeth LaPensée

Empathy, Perspective & Complicity

“Whether walking in the shoes of a Sudanese villager, helping a Tutsi mother hide with her baby during the Rwandan genocide, or managing resources in a Nepalese village to fend of starvation, video games have become powerful embodied learning tools that produce empathy, understanding, and skill acquisition, all of which support an agenda of humane conflict resolution and sustainable development.”

Night Shift

“Night Shift is an adventure video game played on iOS-capable devices where the player is an emergency medicine physician in a number of different environments. As the player goes through each chapter, they must solve different puzzles and cure patients of their maladies. The goal is for the player to learn the characteristics of the patients and diagnose each patient as accurately as possible. The game’s design is to challenge the heuristics of physicians and how they think of the “trauma” patient.” – Schell Games