Archive for December, 2014

This War of Mine

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

This War of Mine is to games what Schindler’s List is to movies – a depressingly beautiful experience that makes you think hard for a long time and possibly changes your life.

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxf1seOpijE

The game is a simulation of what regular civilians, like you and me, went through during the siege of Sarajevo in the early 90’s. It’s very dark and realistic in it’s depiction of the brutalities of war, and I actually cried once while playing. The art style is phenomenal, most everything is black & white, they did a great job with the animations.

The gameplay is a rogue-like sidescroller that involves a lot of crafting, inventory management, and stealth/combat mechanics, and it’s really fun. Everything you do is a difficult decision and since the game autosaves, and you only get one save file, you either finish the game accepting the consequences of your actions or start over from the beginning. I’m still shocked at how much empathy this game can generate from me regarding the characters. Over the last couple of weeks, I have become thankful for every meal and luxury (heat/running water/wine/etc) I have had. STRONGLY recommend trying this out. This is a game I will point to in the future when I have to explain to someone why games are a form of art.

Game is available on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/282070/

P.S. You will most likely lose your first couple of games.

Really Cool Game About Diversity

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Most of the time, games for learning do a terrible job of being fun and fall flat on their face. But every now and then a gem appears that really teaches you something powerful, and it does it in a way that would otherwise not be possible without the interactivity of a game system. A co-worker of mine just shot out this really cool link for a game that teaches us some very powerful lessons on diversity:

Parable of the Polygons (http://ncase.me/polygons/)

Here’s a brief summary of what it teaches: Small individual biases can lead to a large collective bias, and it takes effort rather than simply tolerating the status quo to be able to make real change happen. The simulation is based off of the work Thomas Schelling did to demonstrate racial segregation patterns, though it can be applied to any kind of diversity. If that interests you, take 10 min and play with the simulations on the page.

Hope you enjoy it and learn as much as I did! :)