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June 22, 2017, 05:52:51 pm

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redredred
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« on: June 16, 2017, 07:25:33 pm »

I've been doing a lot of research to aid a friend about a his paper on Games That Heal. The concept of the paper is to highlight that games are not just about fighting and battle mechanics but about helping each other, community, and making people happy.

Fighting and Battles are not bad in any way, however there just seems to be an imbalance with games that are released that focus on power as their means of getting through, compared to games that are just pleasant in nature. And when we look into it some more, the generally pleasant games tend to be geared towards a younger audience rather than the elder teen - young adult demographic who prefer goal oriented, battle focused games.

So, I wanted to ask for some references or some ideas on how a game can be geared towards a young adult demographic, but still be pleasant. At first I was thinking, "Nintendo" but in its core, Mario, Kirby and Yoshi still in a sense destroy their opponents to get to their objectives.

There's Animal Crossing though, which is really therapeutic, but it lacks a defined goal. There are also games like Stardew, and other sim-games which are games with goals, no violence, and gives off this sense of positivity but it's a very niche genre that not everyone would want to try. Then there are games like Undertale who treads that line so well by making the message about a choice of being kind(and evil), while not taking away from the kind of gameplay that action/rpg core players like.

So, are there similar games that I should be aware of, or should try that give that kind of message?
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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 10:56:03 pm »

I'm gonna be a bit specific here, but I like playing supports in Overwatch, specifically Mercy. I just like the feeling of helping people achieve their goals, and being the healer also puts me in a position where my responsibility is to pay attention to what's happening in the game and lead the others in battle. It's still about fighting, but in a more indirect way, at least in my opinion. Plus, some healers like Ana still require execution skills to heal others effectively, so it's not like healers offer less depth.
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redredred
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 01:12:59 am »

I'm gonna be a bit specific here, but I like playing supports in Overwatch, specifically Mercy. I just like the feeling of helping people achieve their goals, and being the healer also puts me in a position where my responsibility is to pay attention to what's happening in the game and lead the others in battle. It's still about fighting, but in a more indirect way, at least in my opinion. Plus, some healers like Ana still require execution skills to heal others effectively, so it's not like healers offer less depth.

You know what, I somewhat agree with this. In Monster Hunter, the game isn't all about just battling and taking down large monsters. It focuses mainly on teamwork and cooperation. Everyone covers each others' backs with items and then some, and the random loot for everyone assures that no one fights over loot.
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Fro
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 08:34:07 am »

You should look into Journeyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_(2012_video_game)

made by Thatgamecompany


The game has no dialogue, no fighting, just exploration and cooperation.
Even though it lacks textboxes Journey communicates a powerful message.
I don't want to spoil it but it's easily one of the best games I've played.

Edit: Also Undertale is an RPG that is made specifically so you don't have to kill enemies
instead you pacify them with flattery and other comical devices. It's made by Toby Fox.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:40:32 am by Fro » Logged
valrus
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 11:16:20 pm »

If you search through old posts, there's a thread about nonviolent gaming that ends up listing dozens (maybe even a hundred or so) of specific games and about a dozen genres that generally don't have violence as their core mechanic (most puzzle games, "pure" stealth games, graphic adventures, city builders, business sims, racing, gambling, many casual arcade titles...).  Not all of these are pleasant and healing in the way you're looking for, but some of them will be.

Off the top of my head, some recent games that I found pleasant/nurturing/therapeutic, but not specifically intended for kids: Grow Home, Earthtongue, Abzu, Shelter, Starseed Pilgrim, FEZ, Waking Mars, Dropsy, Proteus, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build, Mini Metro, Fate Tectonics.

For upcoming games, Yonder: The Cloud-Catcher Chronicles comes to mind.
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 09:05:31 am »

The Witness comes to mind, though I personally didn't enjoy it as much as some others did.

Also Mini Metro, although at higher difficulties I'm not sure how therapeutic one would find that game. Still worth a mention though because its a unique and tight experience that definitely has some nice "relaxing" elements to it.
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« Reply #6 on: Today at 01:27:48 pm »

This is somewhat relevant to my current experiment. I'm building a casual 3D farming/fishing/etc game where the point is to relax. I'm having trouble not adding enemies to it at every turn because I'm so used to that line of thinking.

Atm i'm struggling what to do during the night. I've got a proper day/night cycle and my first instinct was 'ooh you have to protect your farm from something' but then realized that goes against the fact that the game is about to relax.

My current course is to make certain flowers/seeds bloom/openup during the night so you can go gather those and plant them in your farm, any other suggestions/ideas are very much welcomed.
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valrus
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« Reply #7 on: Today at 03:34:11 pm »

@osman: Maybe something bioluminescent (mushrooms, other fungi, fish) that is difficult to distinguish during the day, but at night it's obvious.
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