Tag Archives: Games

So many games, what one do I make?

So time for my small community to give something back to me. “But what?” you ask all horrified and scared. Just your souls that’s all… insert evil laugh here. Ok, you probably guessed from the posts title, but I need help selecting the Trans Inclusive game to build. There is no point in me building one no one wants, so getting an idea of what people like would be good. So I am going to outline a bunch of concepts, and see if I can set up a poll for people to give feedback on what they would like to see. Bear in mind these are all concepts, and some don’t even have real names. Got a better idea? Fire it into the comments, I won’t be offended and if everyone likes it and I go and make it, I’ll even give you credit!

1: The Trans Horror Game

Simply look over some of my posts and you get the jist of this. A game looking at issues plaguing Trans Folk today in a horror context. Designed for anyone to play and meant in a more serious manner as a form of understanding, it would be fun to challenge myself to build a game in a genre I can’t play. Honestly I can’t play horrors, I get too scarred. Anyway some issues I understand is the potential triggering of the game for Trans People as it could dig up some harsh memories.

2: Sea of Monsters

I fell in love with the navel side of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and would love to see more stuff in a similar style.So that’s where this game comes in. As the Trans captain aboard a ship, you raid ships and fight monsters in a world themed around the ancient Mediterranean with groups based on Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.The game itself doesn’t use Trans issues as a theme, merely designed to show people we aren’t things to be gawked at by placing us in a anti-hero role working to save the world from monsters. So while the character is Trans, it is not an issue for anyone in the game world, partially why the setting is ancient because that was a time of greater tolerance for Trans People.

3: Finding Me

A more serious game which explores the journey of a Trans Person through coming out and Transition, but unlike every other story focuses on some one young, a teen most likely. Through out the game the players would perform actions that we all go through, buying clothes, seeing doctors, and coming out, and some which the player can decide how to proceed, such as HRT and Surgeries. The games end would be to build the players confidence bar to the max, done through various actions like seeing doctors and making decisions about the Transition they were undertaken. It would also involve turn based Conversation “Battles” where the player had to keep their self esteem up while being talked to by curious children, concerned family or even random passers by, almost like a Pokemon game. Selecting correct responses would be key to such battles, and as confidence increased, more difficult conversations could be had.

4: Of People and Demons

hat title needs work. Anyway this is an old concept that has evolved a bit over the years. A young Trans Girl, probably 18, makes a deal with the King of Demons to be herself in exchange for a soul. The Demon King agrees and she is turned into a girl, but her sisters soul is taken, not hers. This leads her on a journey to track down the Demon King and rescue her sister. Over the course of the game the Trans girl becomes more confident and by the end is able to return to her old self to undergo a real world Transition than a magical one. Really this game is all about overcoming adversity and gaining confidence with a Trans spin on things.

5: Spaced Out

Dreamed of a silly space adventure romp in which you woke up 500 years in the future due to a failed colony mission? If so this is the game for you! A really zany space game where the player wakes up from cryogenic freezing on a sub light ship only to find humanity has advance to Faster Than Light in the time you took to travel between stars, so your mission was pointless. I planed to let people play who they want but incorporate some of the ideas Mitch discusses here to allow people to play Trans characters. Again no Trans themes beyond “Look, we can be heroes in games too!”

So there you go, just five really quick ideas, I’ll set up a poll so you can give your thoughts, or just leave a comment with you own. Peace out!

 

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“Don’t Feed the Trolls”

If you are wondering what happened to the next part of my look into a Trans Horror Game, well I have decided to actually make one, so I am holding off on it until a get a more focused image.

Anyway, onto today’s subject, where I will be looking at harassment, a recent “movement” focused on it, and the crazy defence of it. For those who don’t know, my title is in reference to one of the common defences of digital harassment. You see, people who harass others online are often referred to as Trolls. The common or garden Troll will often leap in randomly to conversation and offer either dissenting opinions or bring up random topics. Their aim is often to de-rail the conversation, for any number of reasons like boredom or wanting the winning side of a conversation to lose. They can be harmless morons, wasting what little time they have in this life, but they can also be dangerous and zealot like in their attacks.

In the latter case they cease being Trolls, and instead turn into Demons, the Demons of society. You want to see the issues still prevalent in society, look where anonymity is preserved. Right now that is the digital world. Across the internet and gaming worlds, open harassment happens on a daily basis to anyone who is unfortunate enough to not be “normal.” I know, as I have experienced it. Last year, I was really into Star Trek Online (no I am not a Trekkie, but I do love the Trek Universe, and the combination of tactical RPG style ground and space combat was really good in my opinion). At one point, while wandering round the social area that is the Space Station above Earth (forget its name) I was invited to join a Fleet, essentially a Clan for questing and so forth. It was the Star Fleet LGBT CORPS (or something similar). I decided to join as, hey, I am Trans and I had written a Trans backstory for my character (visible only to friends). What I wasn’t prepared for was the backlash for having my LGBT status visible online. I had to deal with a lot insults for walking around, raids could only be done with my fleet or I would face ridicule. I eventually left the fleet and the game, which I miss dearly as I felt that it was pretty cool.

This is the thing, harassment can quickly push people away, and now people have caught onto the idea and are using it. Just look at the GamerGate “movement,” if it can even be called that. Some claim that its originators where looking for ethics in video game journalism but I personally find that a little hard to swallow. The only people I have seen using that story are GamerGaters and apologists, mainly as ways of negating the horrible nature of the GamerGaters. And trust me, GamerGate is horrible, and if you truly believe in video game ethics, stay away. I have avoided talking about this for some time, as I fear the implications for my little indie blog. Though never encountering a GamerGate crowd, my post to the creators of Warface, which I recently saw, is as close as I ever got. It confirmed to me that I didn’t want to play that game, considering its fan base.

Anyway, this harassment is being used to push people away from games and discussing games. So far the GamerGaters have pushed three women to flee their homes for safety fears, and cancel talks to protect the public. It has nothing to do with ethics, even if it did “start” that way (as said, I’m not convinced). It is being used to silence those that challenge the status quo of games, which put the white cis het dudes on top. Sure advances are being made by some companies, Bioware has included a Trans Man in its most recent Dragon Aga game (which I just bought, so expect to see something on it in a while), but as long as Gamers still hold these ideas, and most games fail to challenge them, things are grim for me and many of my friends.

And here is the real kicker, apologists and defenders. Why the fuck would someone defend actions and words that have scared people to death? Forced them to run away and sleep on friends couches just in case someone decides to follow through on a threat? I mean what the actual fuck? Commen defences include “It’s just words,” “Don’t feed the Trolls,” and “Just turn it off and go away.” They generally fall into two categories, ignoring the harassment or implying the harassed person is the one with fault. Ignoring the harassment is probably the most common, and certainly done at a political scale. To this day the disproportionately high levels of violence against woman and LGBT people is ignored to the point we need to scream and shout to be heard. Indeed, when I have pointed out Transphobic language on Facebook, they ignore it (then they started blocking Trans peoples accounts for not using their birth names, so I wonder where their allegiances lie?). It is horrible and dehumanizing. Ignoring it is indeed a defence because it allows it to go on. For years people ignored the Anti-Semitism the Nazi party displayed, and what happened? Attempted genocide. Now I am not saying all those who have taken part in the GamerGate are new Hitlers and Himmlers, merely that they are beginning to climb the same ladders they did.

The other group of defenders are worse than the ignorers, because they twist it round to be the victims fault. It is unfortunately very prevalent in our society to blame victims, just look toward rape. “Why where you wearing that?” Why didn’t you come forward sooner?” “Why didn’t you fight back or scream?” These all cast doubt on the victim, and cause almost as much scaring as the incident itself. In games, it is thankfully not as bad, but still plagues us. We are often told we are too sensitive and need to grow thicker skins. Bullshit. It is easy to claim someone is oversensitive, but hard to look at why. You don’t know what has happened in their life that means that something upsets them. Let’s give an example, two in fact. I occasionally use the T word (don’t know what it is? Ask Ru-Paul) in a mocking sense on myself, but a couple of Trans friends mentioned really not liking the word. So I stopped. My Dad kept using the R word (annoyingly it is considered a medical term in America as far as I can gather) and I asked him to stop as my Head Mistress had called me it at school. So he stopped (one of his more decent moves, the Transphobic Bigot (he doesn’t let me wear what I want or call me Emily as well as apparently trying to get my Mother to Detransition me, so I can call him what I like here)). You need to accept that people get hurt by things, and change according to who is around you. On the internet of course anyone could be around you, so even greater care is needed. Merely telling them to switch of or go away for being offended does not improve them or yourselves. In fact it can drive people away from what they enjoy (look at me and Star Trek: Online). By shutting out the voices of others you loose the ability to learn. That is what GamerGate is all about, not ethics, shutting out the voices of others because they don’t want to learn just how horrible things are.

So yeah, I think this was one of my longer posts, but I have been holding this back a bit.

Halloween Special! (In November)

So maybe this is because it was it was Halloween on Friday, or perhaps because I have thought about this before, but I have come to the conclusion a Trans Horror game would be distressing as all hell. And really, you want a Horror game to leave a lasting impression on the player.

Now first off, no I do not mean a game were the villain, monster or ghost is Trans. Too often when Trans people are represented in horrors or thrillers they are killers. Just look at Silence of the Lambs or Psycho. In both cases the killer assumes a female identity, supposedly due to mental anguish or some such. Often defended as simply “Men who wish to be woman,” which is a commen trope about Trans Woman, they only help to drive the stigmaof Trans people as “mentally ill.” In games, I think the closest I have seen is Yutaji the Flesh Mage from Draken: The Ancients Gates. He is supposed to be completely mad although he does not don a female identity, merely wears woman’s skin.

Yutaji

This guy was terrifying. The game wasn’t even supposed to be scary!

No, what I am talking about is a horror game which bases the world, challenges of that world and its major themes on issues facing Trans people. With that goal in mind I have thought of some issues and how they could be explored in a horror game context. Warning, things are about to get personal and maybe a little emotional.

Control

Probably one issue common to all Trans people is control. Society tries to force us to behave like the gender we were assigned at birth, or when they do accept us force us to act in a stereotypical manner for our Gender Identity. Even Trans people try to control other Trans people, by telling them they are not truly Trans or their identity unless they have SRS. So how do we explore this in a game? Games have the unique opportunity to be Active Experiences, giving the player control over what they see, so we must break this! Some games already toy with this a little. In Wolfenstein: The New Order, a brilliant moment early in the game has you at the Mercy of a Nazi official. You have no idea what she will do, you can only pick pictures. And honestly, it is one of the scariest segments of the game. But obviously a game where the player has no control is just one long cutscene, so how do we give the illusion of control, while taking it away? Some ideas I have include giving the player a map which depicts a large open world, yet they are confined to a narrow path. Doors are locked, walls crumble to prevent passage, and horrors stop you from exploring that cool looking tower. A eerie idea I like is the idea of a stair way. When you step on it and travel up, it goes on as long as you move up, but when you turn around, you are still standing at the bottom.

Rejection

Another one common to all Trans people, as our families and friends abandon our new found selves. A little more difficult to convey in a game, but it could still be done. Characters, people just out of reach, behind locked doors, walking away constantly. A simple method, and I certainly think I need to think more on this one.

Violence

Sad to say, but Trans people, especially those of darker skin (gah I hate using that phrase, can anyone think of a better one?) are at an extremely high risk of violence. I am thankful I have gone a year nearly full time and only been called “Ugly.” (by a man whose face was falling off, ooh burn) But how do you show violence in a game? Oh wait, that’s what games have been doing for some time. The difference here is of course the player will not be the one dishing it out, but receiving it, and being helpless to stop save to run away (when Trans people defend themselves, they are often arrested, because sometimes the only to stop someone killing you is to kill them). This would result likely in some kind of muscular monster, that stalks you, and you only choice if you bump into him (yes him, as its usually men who attack us, although woman do too, especially TERFs) is to run. Other possible options include the very world trying to attack the player, so they must be on a constant look out. Even then, they may not see it until its too late.

Sexual Harrassment and Rape

Now we get to really shit stuff. Just like violence, Trans people suffer rape to a high degree too. Sometimes it is “corrective” to show them they are wrong. Really, as I have only had to deal with sexual harassment, not sure I would feel comfortable tacking rape without doing lots more research and speaking to those who have suffered it so as to do it properly. Still I think the comic by Erin Lindsey, Venus Envy has had a very interesting way of depicting the horror of it.

Venus Envy

The first time we see any hint of sexual assault, and its terrifying. It comes out of no where. Read the whole comic, its very good.

Misunderstanding

So most people don’t understand Trans people, as is easily evidenced by looking at media portrayals of us. Ironically, bringing in the stupid stereotyped idea of a Trans person could help here. A mirror held up to the player, telling them this is what they look like, when we can see they do not. It helps to perhaps show anyone who is Cis the horribleness of being told you are something you are not. How to make it scary and gamy though? Potentially a room full of these mirrors, which the player must destroy, potentially while avoiding the ire of that muscle bound monster.

So there we go, this was just a wee look at some issues facing Trans people, and how to gamify them in a horror context. This is in no way a complete list, and I am not really a horror enthusiast, more a casual admirer (I am scared of butterflies, how well do you think I do in horror games?). Also, being Trans isn’t all oppression and violence. There are a lot of awesome bits to it to, like being yourself, and speaking honestly, getting the right bra to turn your pecs into boobs rocks!

I Sold my Soul and Ideals, Only to get Insulted

I recently applied for a job in the games industry, with the biggest company in Scotland and arguably one of the most successful in the world, Rockstar North, creators of the Grand Theft Auto Series. I was even asked to attend an interview, though I can’t talk details for obvious reasons. I was excited, it was a huge possibility for me and could have lead to great things. I didn’t get it. It was a shame, because I really enjoyed meeting them. They were nice and friendly, well except one who seemed to avoid my gaze and not really look at me. I have no idea what he was thinking, but I do worry that it wasn’t nice.

Anyway, as part of the prep for the interview, I was asked to play GTA V. Not really an unreasonable request, but I got a little worried. I was torn between two issues. I really wanted the job, and so I should strive to play the game, but I swore not to buy the game because of its content. I of course didn’t tell them this, it was because I had no money and time as I was undertaking my Honours year at University (which as you should know was met with difficulties).

The reason the content made me swear not to play the game was because it was so insulting to so many groups, and Rockstar had also decided to include Trans characters. Not in a good way of course. Really this is all old news of course, Mitch wrote a brilliant piece on it for Gay Gamer, Bad Trans Jokes covered it in game and beyond and of course there was the Game Spot article in which Carolyn Petit dared to mark down a game for being misogynistic. So the issues were not only within the game, but also the community of fans. It painted a rather nasty picture which I did not really want to get into.

I’ll admit, the game looked amazing, and reviews (including Carolyn’s) all talked about the great gameplay within the game. I even watch videos of some one playing it, and was thankful when they released a video defending the GameSpot review.

So I decided to borrow my sisters copy, and used various sources to avoid problem areas. I did not wish to see the Trans Characters or go to the Strip Club. I successfully avoided them and found myself having fun, with only the issue of Trevor’s introduction. So after the fairly positive experience of the interview, I bought the game when it went on offer for £25, which was almost half its usual price. Then I spotted more issues.

While I had been avoiding the Strip Club, the game started to spawn me in it when I changed characters. Then I went and did a stupid thing. I checked the Fame or Shame Website. “Dancing Trannies,” “She Male Bop” and LGBT ais changed to LBGT so they can crack off the “joke” of it meaning “Lady Boy’s Gigantic Tits.” This is beyond poor stereotypes, this is blatant insults! She-Male and Tranny are insults, and I am no fan of Lady Boy either. I know “Trainnies” also appears on the Gay Bar’s windows, but this is a relatively accurate depiction of how some Gay men think it isn’t a slur (Rupaul for example (TW: to prove a point, the title of the linked article contains an anti gay slur)). Of course the media shares this idia, but to include along side She Male and Lady Boy is less a shout out to poor media representation, its actively taking part, especially considering all the other offenses. Also, the change of LGBT to LBGT for a joke about “Gigantic Tits” sounds like some silly school yard thing, were the very mention of Breasts, Penises, Anuses or Vaginas is funny. This is Carry On levels of puerile and I would know having enjoyed them as a silly young idiot.

Now I suspect that Rockstar does not have a single trans staff member. If they do they are either too spineless to call out this nonsense, too frightened they may loose their job, spoke up and lost their job or was silenced because all this was “too funny.” I don’t know, I certainly never saw any, although I wasn’t looking. I slightly worry if my own Trans Status had anything to do with not being accepted despite my skills from a Games Course. I again can’t know, but my request for reason as to why I did not get a job has gone unanswered, which does not alleviate these fears. Here is the funny thing though, if they didn’t there is a place not too far away were they could have gone to check their jokes, or even talk to some trans people to get some real experience. Rockstar North is situated in Edinburgh, and Edinburgh has a LGBT Centre for Health and Well Being, and pretty much every Month Trans Woman go their for something called Tea Time (there is one in Glasgow too). I have been to a couple, and they aren’t far from the Train Station. Neither is Rockstar North. In fact they are both walking distance away! Here is a map showing each location, with some directions!

Map

Not exactly miles away, its not even one!

With such easy access to Trans People who could have told them that what they would be doing is insulting, why didn’t they use this valuable resource? The could have made some brilliant jokes about Trans people were we are still legitimate people, not things to gawk at or be disgusted by. I’ll give you this brilliant one I found for free:

How do you find the Transsexual in a room full of Drag Queens?

Look for the girl in a t-shirt and jeans.

I just want to point out before signing off, I am not saying Rockstar is a big evil corporation. My fears of not getting the job for being Trans are as yet unfounded, and I would rejoice at being proven wrong. I just don’t like the insulting manner of Trans inclusion and have suggested how they may in future prevent such issues.

Russian Anti-Gay Law is Now Affecting Games

The Sims 4

Not for Teenagers any more.

The Sims 4 has potentially been hit by Russia’s new Non-Tradition Relationships Law (Anti-Gay to anyone with some sense). The game is the first in the series to receive a Mature rating, at least in Russia. Those who enjoy the games (haven’t played since The Sims 2) will know The Sims usually fall into the early teens or even Everyone 10+ because for their fairly mild depiction of sex and lacking any real violence or drug use.

This is the reason it has been perceived that Russia has rated the game Mature for including same-sex relationships. The Sims has allowed same sex relationships since its creation, and even allowed same sex marriage for longer than some Governments, my own included! EA has also been classed as one of the best places to work as LGBT by the Human Rights Campaign (good luck finding it, I couldn’t and was just going by this BBC article).

So where does this come from? Well back in 2010 Russia passed a content law, 436-FZ or, “On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development.” It was basically designed to prevent harmful content such as glorification of Drug use, suicide or child pornography. It led to the censoring of several websites and to be fair is really a good thing in my books. However 2013 saw an amendment that said  “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” is also not allowed. As such anyone under the age of eighteen can not be given information about these “non-traditional” relationships. As I said its been called the Anti-Gay Law because of this. Unfortunately this has meant that many Russian Teenagers  will be breaking the law if they try to buy a game that they used to buy with ease. Hopefully someday Russia will vote in an intelligent and forward thinking Government and remove their current one which is routed in their own agenda to become some kind of new Soviet Empire were their own people are scarred.

Sorry, got a little political there.

According to Nintendo, Gay relationships are “Social Commentary.” _ UPDATED

So was beginning to get a little stumped for what next and this little article fell into my lap. Unfortunately, and don’t hate me for this, but this may have actually slipped my radar if it wasn’t shown to me as I am not really a big Nintendo fan. However, this actually annoys me even though I would not have actually played the game.

Firstly, some ideas about the game. Tomodachi Life is billed as a life simulate game in which players can use their Miis (Nintendo’s avatars of players) to live out their life. Its tagline is “Your friends. Your drama. Your life.” However they need to add a bit on the end. Here you go “Your friends. Your drama. Your life. As long as you aren’t Gay (or Bi).” Its odd to exclude homosexual relationships, even if just for a Western port, mainly due to how much acceptance and recent strides are being made in some countries over same sex marriages. It would do more good than harm for their game and make less people lose out n in game experiences they may miss out on just because they want it to follow the slogan and be “Their friends. Their drama. Their life.”

This was the reasoning behind a attempt to convince Nintendo to rethink and add Homosexual relationships. The group, called Miiquality, was created by Tye Marini because he wants to marry his real word fiancee’s Mii. Is it too much to ask? He managed to gather a small following and even talked to various media outlets, but unfortunately Nintendo was not moved. They claimed that they  “never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life,'” Of course, not including them is in itself a social commentary, and I believe Nintendo are on the wrong side of the line here. Before heading on I just want it to be known that Marini does not want a boycott, just more communication with Nintendo, however I say take whatever action you feel is justified (and legal).

I find it bizarre that Nintendo are not changing the game, when it could actually prove to better for a company which is beginning to struggle. They have been shown to be a little narrow minded, but if they mended their ways they may draw in even more customers. Sure, right wing nutjobs will accuse them of destroying the moral fiber of our children, but they are nutjobs remember. In fact, this may lead to better sales, just look at when Mass Effect was accused of allowing you to “rape” characters. All that negatively and nonsensical publicity likely brought it to the minds of more people than the actual marketing did!

Finally I just want to say something about this from a developer and designer viewpoint. They will have had to code in “NO GAYS!” To give an example beyond relationships. Say I made a game with a fireball spell that would do damage to health, this would be scripted happen to all things with health. But then say I wanted a class of monster who was immune to fireballs? Well that’s more code, and its the same thing here. Look at the older, probably better life simulation game, called The Sims! They have included Homosexual relationships for a long time, possible due simply to not coding out the possibility. The point I am trying to make is Nintendo will have needed code to prevent Homosexual relationships and in doing so have unfortunately demonstrated that they may not be as accepting as they may seem.

UPDATE

On the BBC Website, Nintendo is quoted as saying that they can not change the games design anymore, but will endeavour to update any future releases. I find it difficult to believe they can not change it in this age of easy to obtain Patches, the 3DS does have internet connection, so how can’t they. Skyrim added mounted combat in a patch for crying out loud!

Lets get Serious About Serious Games

Over the course of my University course I learnt about an interesting thing. Serious Games. Not something I suspect you have heard about unless you are a member of the game development community. So what is a Serious Game?

Well, lets start with games everyone knows about. When you go out and buy a game out of your local retailer or off an online store, I can almost guarantee that it is not a Serious Game. The reason is that those games are commercial, and their main focus is entertainment. A Serious Game however focuses on education, in the widest possible sense. They are games that will either teach you something, train you to be able to do something or potentially influence you. Now, I am sure what is now flashing through your mind are silly little games you played back in school on computers to help your maths, like Ghostblasters.

Ghostblasters

This was kinda fun on a toughscreen.

I bet most of those were really dull, especially hen you look back on them now. However, Serious Games strive to so much more. The aim to try to be as entertaining as they are educational. I personally think its an awesome thing, and many people agree. Advocates aren’t just games developers, but psychologists and educators are also interested in these games. The thing is, whether you realise it or not, learning is actually fun, but only if it is engaging.

Remember back to your childhood, you played a lot of different things. Why? So you could learn about the world and your place in it. Games like Hide and go Seek likely started as hunting games back in our ancestors, and in more modern times we may play at being a doctor or cook to prepare us for potential future careers. I bet it was a lot of fun, it was for me. Serious games strive to tap into our primal “Learn Through Play” to make us far better at learning. Sitting down and doing sums or answering questions on history are dull, so why not use games to liven them up?

While that is in its infancy we have actually been using games to teach since before the first electronic computer! Early simulators were built to train pilots, and consisted of a mocked up plane with working controls. It was very basic, but now we have built upon it and have cockpits that move as the pilots fly, and use advanced simulation programs with screens to help them learn to fly. Simulators are a pretty common Serious Game, but not all things called “(Insert random thing here) Simulator” are of course simulators.

 

Goat Sim

Definitely not a Serious Game, or Simulator

As mentioned previously I was doing a University course, and I made a Serious Game (link to it on my Dropbox). It was through this I discovered just how powerful Serious games can be. The game I made was simple, all you had to do was sort the rubbish into the correct bins, getting points for doing so correctly and sounds helped to guide the player to use the correct bins. After only five minutes of playing, everyone who played it learned more about the recycling scheme at my University. They all enjoyed it too, because I imbued it with a little bit of what made Flappy Bird such a success. The game was designed to quickly get impossible, so people kept wanting to beat their scores. It was simple, but it worked.

Now imagine if we had games on the same level as Call of Duty, GTA, Bioshock, Command and Conquer and other prominent titles. Not only would they last longer, but so much more could be put within them. The Total War series is really good for learning little bits of history, so many have actually used as educational tools. If they were more historically accurate, they could easily replace history lessons. Physics based puzzle games could allow learners to not only learn how to do sums, but also to see how they may be used. I remember working out friction forces in physics, but what if a game used a sum I made to try to prevent a man hitting a wall too fast, or too slow? Games have lots of potential as teaching tools.

Influence can also be created in games, though most focus on potential violence (most studies point out its not really linked). However, games can be positively influential too. I bet you never realised that playing Call of Duty with your friends was benefitting your Pro-Social behaviours. Games also carry political messages too. Games like America’s Army were designed to recruit people into the army by showing them what its really like, and even is used to train soldiers about cultural differences. I really like this, and have already mentioned my intentions of developing a game to influence people to see Trans people in a better light.

So there you go, you now know a little bit about Serious Games. Hopefully you’re a little interested, perhaps you’re excited to see what the future may hold. Well why not look it up? A guy I can recommend looking up (we looked at his stuff a lot, and he is pretty easy to read) is James Paul Gee.  Here’s hoping this new field of games develops well, because I personally think its rather cool.