By Tanner Higgin, Graphite
Play is nothing if not social. Games organize play, allowing us to wrangle and experiment with the world. When we play games, more often than not, it’s us under the microscope.
Video games, however, have been a bit of an aberration in the history of play and games. Many of them have been solitary experiences. That’s changing, though. We’re in the midst of a multiplayer video game renaissance that’s bringing people together. Equally exciting is the trend in design toward video games that build social skills and encourage players to reflect on themselves and their relationships. Here are a few games that do just that.
This app features a series of appealing animated episodes that model real world social situations. Rather than passively watching the scenes play out, kids have choices to make, such as helping the characters navigate common social interactions, follow social cues, and make the appropriate decisions. Along the way, they learn key social skills in a safe environment that makes it much easier to transfer the skills into daily life.
Billed as an “indie minimalist platformer,” Thomas Was Alone’s characters are just colorful shapes, yet they all have distinct personalities. The game’s well-crafted narration provides