What do you immediately think of when I mention computer games?
Do they suggest shoot-em-ups or racing games, games that appeal and are marketed to teenage boys? Or maybe you’ve come across some of the amazing games that are emerging, often from indie studios? The games industry now produces a rich and diverse set of games, but people don’t yet know about them.
I was invited to speak for an event on Ada Lovelace day at Anaplan this year, and I realised that this was an opportunity for me to share the impact that games have had on me, and are already impacting the world.
I’ve played some amazing games with powerful messages, which had me fully immersed in their gameplay, and the more I look, the more I find that I want to play. I’ve shared an overview of some of these games in my talk, as well as how I think each of them are changing the world.
I really believe that games are a fantastic platform for immersing us in new worlds, tackling difficult topics in a playful and lighthearted way, educating us, introducing new, beneficial habits and also for collecting data which can feed into behavioural research and give us deep insight into the human race.
However we need to design games, with an understanding of the power they can have, and we need more diversity in the industry to make it happen. By investing your time and money and spreading the word about the best games you are also building the case for more games created which use the power of games to change the world for good. This leads to more investment, providing a greater chance for those who have a game with a message to get it out there.
The industry is changing, games are changing, please go and check them out and help games to change the world!
These are the games I mention in my talk, with links to the games and the platforms you can play them on. Many are accessible to you if you have a phone! Please do go and check them out:
- Pokemon Go (mobile – iOS, Android)
- Minecraft (all platforms including PC, mobile and consoles)
- That Dragon, Cancer (mobile – iOS, Android, Windows)
- Hellblade, Senua’s Sacrifice (Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
- My Child Lebensborn (mobile – Android and iOS)
- Liyla and the Shadows of War (mobile – Android and iOS)
- Sea Hero Quest (only available in VR)
- Mission 1.5 (PC or mac – online game)