As digital innovation continues, problems persist in many shapes and forms. Fortunately, there are contemporary ways of dealing with modern-day challenges.
One of these solutions is games. Apart from the hours of entertainment they bring, more of these media have been crafted to educate, raise awareness, and be the solution to many critical issues. We delve deeper into various games, making strides in tackling contemporary problems.
Environmental Awareness and Conservation
Game developers with great concern for the planet use gaming platforms to raise environmental awareness and conservation. An example of this is “Eco” by Strange Loop Games. It lets players collaborate with others to build a civilization on a virtual planet.
Each action you choose in this game will have corresponding environmental consequences. This system requires players to balance resource utilization with sustainable practices, reflecting real-world ecological challenges.
“Alba: A Wildlife Adventure” by Ustwo Games is another game that immerses players in tasks like photographing wildlife and cleaning up trash. The game is subtly instilling the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation.
Social Issues and Empathy Building
“Papers, Please” by Lucas Pope is one of these games that fosters empathy while addressing social issues. Players wear the hat of an immigration officer at a border checkpoint. This kind of game is where morals and ethical dilemmas are up on the table, giving the audience insights into the complexities of immigration.
“That Dragon, Cancer,” an autobiographical game by Ryan and Amy Green, is another example of a match under this category. The creators share their experience of raising a son with terminal cancer. It is another empathy-building content that offers a deeply personal view of family struggles, particularly those with life-threatening illnesses. The game is also an eye-opener to people with a family history, encouraging them to take multi-risk assessment tests for early detection.
Encouraging Physical Fitness and Health
Fitness games existed before Dance Revo on PlayStation One and Nintendo Wii consoles. However, one of the most notable games in this category is “Ring Fit Adventure” for the Nintendo Switch, as it brilliantly combines gaming with physical exercise. The game pushes players to engage in many physical endeavors to progress through the game.
Similarly, “Zombies, Run!” is a mobile game that turns a simple jog or walk into a thrilling survival adventure, encouraging players to break a sweat while being part of an immersive story. As it turns out, cardio is better when you’re running for your character’s life!
Promoting Mental Health Awareness
While most top video games based on anime and other media may be more stressful than recreational, playable content classified as “Serious Games” is intended to educate and assist problems, like those having mental health problems.
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Games like “Celeste” by Maddy Makes Games are our top choice regarding mental health awareness. While a challenging game, this platformer embeds narratives about anxiety and depression, encouraging players to acknowledge and confront these issues. Its compassionate tackling of mental health challenges is both refreshing and enlightening.
“Night in the Woods” is another mental health-themed content, specifically addressing issues like depression and social isolation. The title gives players a deeper understanding of these complex mental health issues through narrative-driven gameplay.
Educating Through Simulation and Strategy
Simulation and strategy games like “SimCity” and “Civilization” are praised for their educational value. These games require critical thinking, strategic decisions, and understanding of complex systems. While many games have these features, the problems solved through these media are more realistic.
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Addressing Global Health Crises
Games are also used to solve global health issues, hopefully. “Foldit,” a puzzle game developed by the University of Washington, allows players to contribute to scientific research by folding proteins. Remarkably, players have helped in scientific breakthroughs that could aid in treating diseases like HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. Such games will be helpful in the future for quicker discovery of vaccines and other cures.