As you read in the last post, there are some serious philisophers who think that we are part of a virtual reality simulation. Following that theme, we thought that it would be interesting to look at some of the simulations and games that we could play. More importantly, are there games that can help our children and us to better understand the needs of the world?
Fortunately, Chris Marlin-Warefield of Faithfully Liberal has compiled a list of "games with a conscience":
A game with a conscience, in my book, is a game that teaches a lesson about social responsibility, one that lets us know what the world is really like. While such games aren’t always happy-fun-time sorts of diversions, they teach valuable lessons and give one insight into how the world works, which can give one better ideas (or at least an interest in finding better ideas) about how to solve those problems that we often spend time just carping about.
So, here are some games with a conscience. Some are hard, some are easy, and all of them teach a lesson:
In Ayati, you manage a poor Haitian family. You send them to work, manage their finances, try to get them an education, try to keep them healthy, etc. The game is hard, and the the tide can turn (to the worse) quickly, but it’s well worth playing. Hint: this game is about education, which is the road to a better life… that’s kind of the message.
Build a city, keeping its energy production within the limits set by electricity needs, environmental protection, economic needs, and so forth. At the end (you get 150 turns) you receive “grades” in several areas, as well as an overall grade. The only real goal, though, is building the city you want to build, though getting high grades ain’t so bad.
Manage… Europe. Play the president of Europe, trying to reduce carbon emissions while remaining popular enough to stay in office. It’s really not terribly difficult to reduce emissions and stay popular, but it’s so very hard to do those two things and keep the economy in shape.
Now, go play!
Read it all here.
If you know of other games with a conscience, please let us know! And if you play one of these games, let us know what you think.