Cart Life is in These Lists
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 Cart Life in the following lists:
Realistic poverty isn't a subject that is commonly featured in video games. The medium rarely asks players to balance finances with real world consequences or to experience absolute economic destitution.
I spoke to Adam Crowley
, author of Representations of Poverty in Video Games. He talked about how, instead, many games offer players an experience of poverty tourism, that is -- a chance to go "slumming" in a digital world. Players, Crowley says, can observe the working poor and can wander through disadvantaged communities from a position of privilege in many games. This, he explains, establishes a fanciful relationship with poverty, one in which poverty is experienced as mere entertainment.
While games rarely include "absolute poverty," where you have no access to the things that you need, they do sometimes include "relative poverty," which forces you to consider economic contexts.
This is where we landed for this list. These are games that offer not only representation of working class people living on low incomes, but invite you to step into these settings. This sometimes comes with the hope of engagement or making a statement about these things, but equally can simply offer the chance to get a better understanding of this way of life.
Video games and work don’t usually go together. Not, that is, unless you work in the video game industry. The Safe In Our World charity
addresses this world of work and video games to foster positive mental health wellbeing and deliver support for players, developers, publishers and retailers.
“The worlds we create are a refuge for many,” they say about video games, to highlight the importance of also looking after those people who make these amazing spaces. They have some excellent resources available for free and global helplines for a range of emotions and stresses people might be feeling, not to mention some great training resources for companies. Most recent is their Level Up
campaign that challenges businesses within the video games industry to unite and commit to change.
The games in this list offer space to reflect and escape work for a while. But not only to get some distance, but to play something that shines a light on why we do what we do. Some address the world of work directly, while others enable us to consider our choices about how we spend our working hours.
Whether it’s escaping for a lunchtime walk with A Short Hike
. Trying to manage crunch time with Going Under
, or not succumbing to Tom Nook’s invitation for ever bigger mortgages in Animal Crossing
, there are lots of games that can help us find some balance.
Other games, like Coffee Talk
and Neo Cab
help us consider the people we serve at work. This might be conversations with customers, but also the other people we work with in the office or workplace we find ourselves in. Like the game Good Job
encourages us to do.
Then there are games that make us aware of our co-workers. Whether it’s collaborating to identify and store stock in Wilmot’s Warehouse
or getting the furniture into the van neatly in Moving Out
, how we work together and treat the people around us is important.
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.
While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.
In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.
Independent Games Festival (IGF)
was founded in 1998 to promote independent video game developers, and innovation in video games. It cultivates innovation and artistry in all forms of interactive media. This aims to uncover how games are rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant.
It chooses games in a series of categories: Grand Prize, Innovation, Visual Art, Audio, Design, Technical Excellence, Best Mobile Game and Audience Award. This list highlights the games that were nominated and/or won.
Being able to discern between reliable sources and unreliable sources of information is an important skill for children to develop. This starts with questions of trust and authority but then leads to decisions about how we use and share information ourselves.
We've worked with Childnet International
on this list of games that help children and young people experiment with what they should trust and the potential unintended consequences. Childnet International is an online safety charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They believe that the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. Childnet are also part of the UK Safer Internet Centre and organise Safer Internet Day in the UK every February.
Some of the games, like Thousand Threads
, either put them in a world where what people say and believe impacts the other characters. Other games, like Headliner
, put the player in charge of information so they can see the consequences first hand of its misuse. There are even games, like Papers Please
, that enable the player to police who is and isn't allowed access to information or even access to the country.
As Childnet write, "Critical Thinking is an important skill that we need in order to navigate the internet safely and find the latest news headlines or facts and information. With the amount of content that is online sometimes it’s quite easy to be reading something that is inaccurate without realising."
These games each provide different ways for players to develop critical thinking. They provide a space where trust and authority can be experienced first hand, and where the negative and positive consequences of how we handle these topics play out.
We are used to books, films and radio programs challenging our assumptions on subjects. Adam Curtis, Louis Theroux and David Attenborough have powerfully used film to change perspectives and values.
Less well known is how many video games tread a similar furrow. These are games that not only tackle difficult subjects, but get beneath the usual binary perspectives to create new ways of thinking about these themes.