There has been a lot of discussion this week about what to do as game developers during a time of increased violence against minorities, uncertainty about the future of healthcare provisions that are essential to many people, and economic distress as the foundations of globalism look set to be dramatically reconfigured.
For the Gamasutra digest, I wanted to specifically highlight some discussion about how game design can put something positive out into the world. These pieces discuss some ways that games can feel restorative, and what developers can do if they want their games to be part of the forces of healing.
- The National Pastime: Play in the Time of Politics – Not Your Mama's Gamer
Lee Hibbard has some warm words to share on the importance of games in bad times, regardless of whether or not art is going to save us.
- Video Games Are Boring | GamesIndustry.biz
This widely-shared essay discusses how interest is created and maintained in our current media landscape, and what that might mean for game designers who want to make things a bit better for other people.
- Dying Is a Learning Opportunity | PopMatters
Kym Buchanan relates some of the usual arguments about death and game design to some important theories from health and education.
- Animal Crossing Helps Me Cope On A Day Like Today
Gita Jackson redirects the notion of escapism into a wider, humanist idea of aesthetics and values.
"[...] deep in another bout of depression, my dad told me that every day he wakes up, stares out the kitchen window, and tries to think of all the things he is grateful for. The kitchen of our family home overlooks a modest backyard with a few trees and a creek lousy with mosquitos. My mother was, and still is, an ardent gardener and on our back porch she grew basil and lavender. Looking out on that, my dad would think about how he loved his family, his job, and the place he lived."
This is an extract from a full weekly roundup posted on Critical Distance. To see the full post and other great writing and podcasting from the world of games criticism, check out critical-distance.com.
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