In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Beholder in the following lists:
Video games usually let us step into the role of the hero. Sometimes our heroics result in many henchmen or even innocent bystanders getting killed. But our hearts are thought to be in the right place.
The games on this list, however, are all great examples of where you intentionally ruin other people's days. Whether that's playing the blood sucking alien in Carrion
or just stealing, breaking and hiding things in Untitled Goose Game
it's both intriguing and entertaining to not play by the usual moral rules of the game.
Then there are games where you think you are doing things for the right reason but this turns out not to be the case, like Braid
or Spec Ops The Line
. Or games where the slow drip of doubt builds until you regret your actions, like Shadow of the Colossus
Games often offer us the chance to step into the shoes of powerful and fantastical characters. These power fantasies are exciting and exhilarating. There are many games that invite us to step into the shoes of the disempowered.
Games where you play the underprivileged or discriminated against, not only provide information about how these unjust imbalances exist in the world, but (to some extent) what it feels like to be on the receiving end of discrimination.
The logo on this page is the PEGI Discrimination descriptor. It indicates that the "game contains depictions of ethnic, religious, nationalistic or other stereotypes likely to encourage hatred. This content is always restricted to a PEGI 18 rating (and likely to infringe national criminal laws)." You won't see this on any game because the game would also be breaking the law.
The games in this list address ethnic, religious and nationalistic themes, but in a way that shines a light on discrimination and injustice. In a small way they can help us grow in our sensitivity and awareness of these issues.
Video games are a great way for children to play. However, they are also contested spaces often created with profit as well as play in mind. How do we empower children to play, break the rules and self-determination in light of other pressures and owners of these digital spaces?
We worked with Sara Grimes on this list of games that offer new and emergent ways to provide play possibilities to children. Her book, Digital Playgrounds
explores the key developments, trends, debates, and controversies that have shaped children’s commercial digital play spaces over the past two decades.
The politics of children’s play aren’t something we often talk about. This is more than decrying big business muscling in on childhood. It’s about understanding digital play in a holistic sense so it can be all it needs to be in the life of a child. Sara describes this as an embrace of the complexity of children’s online playgrounds, virtual worlds, and connected games.
It comes down to something at the heart of our database: seeing games more than mere sources of fun and diversion. “Games serve as the sites of complex negotiations of power between children, parents, developers, politicians, and other actors with a stake in determining what, how, and where children’s play unfolds.”
We’re excited about games in this list as they are not only digital spaces where these things meet, but that children use them in ways they weren’t intended. These games can be places where children push back at the powers-that-be and take ownership of these digital public spheres in unexpected ways.
Metaverse rule making and breaking in games like Roblox and Fortnite, where the context offers more than competition. Children often invent their own rules and ways to play not instigated by the developer.
Citizenship their own way in games like Alba, Cozy Grove or Unpacking where children have agency to influence and contribute (or not) to public spaces. Then there's games like and Please Touch The Artwork and Sloppy Forgeries that invite usually discouraged behaviour.
Undirected play can lead to unintended scenarios in games like Pok Pok Playroom, Kids, A Short Hike or Townscaper where play isn’t directed or capitalised upon, but left alone to be an end in its own right.
Purposeless Exploration in games like , Proteus and Ynglet can be used as a way to waste time, not progress and refuse direction.
Misbehave in games like Untitled Goose Game, Donut County, Carrion, Fable, Scribblenauts and Beholder is expected. But how children stretch and reinvent (or refuse to partake in) this usually frowned on behaviour opens unexpected possibilities.
The Let's Game It Out
YouTube channel is a great example of games you can play in ways (very) unexpected by the developers. These aren't all child friendly, but are fascinating examples of play transgressing intended rules.
Video games often place you in positions of power, saving the world, righting the wrongs and bringing justice. Of course, real life isn't neat and tidy like that. There are many games where you are challenged to make difficult decisions
and some of those put you in situations without power, where the kindest thing to do is to lie.
Whether it's not telling Ellie the truth about her unique response to the infection so she can have a "normal" life in The Last Of Us
, lying about who's drugs they are to save a friend in Life Is Strange
, deciding not to be honest with friends to save their feelings and avoid confrontation in Oxenfree
or rearranging an old man's memory so he thinks he's made it to his dream in To The Moon
, telling lies is sometimes the right thing to do.
The games in this list challenge our neat conceptions of right and wrong. Playing them, we face the messiness of real-world justice and consider the power of withholding the truth. We might not always agree with the reasons or ethics, but we have a chance to revisit our values as we play.
Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.
If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse
, organising your island in Animal Crossing
, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways
or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization
the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.
The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with.