The problem with empathy games

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A niche genre of videogames hopes to inspire players to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, leading to an important discussion about how players experience empathy. Biofeedback videogames feed off players’ physiological responses, impacting gameplay in new and interesting ways. But what happens when developers create games designed to evoke a specific emotional or psychological response? Empathy games attempt to answer that question. These videogames aspire to enhance a player’s understanding of an outside perspective, particularly those pertaining to real-world struggles and inequalities, through interactive experiences. “You have to…


Riot aims to politicize the board game with, what else, riots

We’ve seen a lot of great videogames that deal with social issues, but we haven’t seen that many boardgames. The crew of Italians behind Riot want to change that by putting you in the shoes of a citizen who is caught in a dangerous riot situation, where tension between protesters and officers is erupting into violence. The rules and design behind this unorthodox take definitely looks interesting, and as we’ve seen with great games like Papers, Please and Cart Life, the structures of injustice can make for some very compelling and unconventional play—you know, unlike actual riots.  The designers are…