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Space For Loneliness Games on PlayStation Vita

In a culture that often assumes that the route to happiness is with another person, it can benefit us to acknowledge that being alone is not always a bad thing. We teamed up with Courtney Garcia’s Screen Therapy channel to curate a list of games that give us a chance to experience being alone in different ways.

Garcia’s Screen Therapy project employs Positive Media Psychology research to highlight and interpret meaningful experiences with games and movies. “With mindfulness, there are even more benefits to gain from intentional consumption of media,” she says, “games can be tools we use to recover or grow, psychologically, and our time with them isn't wasted if they provide us insights or rest we need.”

This list was inspired by the experience of playing the unusually solitary (and long) game The Longing and the Twitter thread that followed. In it, you spend 400 elapsed days waiting for the King to wake up and living at a slow pace. The other games offer their own lens on loneliness and solitary seasons of life. These games offer us insight into the benefits of appreciating time alone, such as opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the chance to curate enriching experiences or environments for ourselves.

Some of the games, like Never Alone, Journey and The Long Dark place you in a harsh environment that emphasises your diminutive size when faced with the expanse of nature. Other games in the list, like Thomas Was Alone and Bird Alone offer you the chance to reflect on friendship and the need to nurture relationships. Then there are games we included like Shadow of the Colossus that let you get lost in the vastness of its landscape. Finally, a few of the games like The First Tree and Sunlight invite you to make a connection to other players, once you have come to terms with a journey on your own.

This list includes 3 games from the last 9 years, with 28 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to understand loneliness.

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DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 7 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE 10+ to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle
Era: 2013 - 2019
Total Games: 3
Total Likes: 28
 

 

Thomas Was Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Mike Bithell (@MikeBithell)

Players: This is a single-player game

Control different-coloured rectangles in this simple running, jumping and puzzle solving platform game. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape story...

Limbo

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 05/06/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: Android, PS Vita, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single-player game

Control a small boy as he runs, jumps and climbs through a dark, silhouetted forest that clanks and hums with foreboding. As the age-rating suggests, he is killed in all manner of gruesome ways. But this is not without reason. Rather than violent...

The Swapper

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/05/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Face Palm Games (@FacePalmGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Swapper is a platform-adventure where you explore a damaged space station to collect orbs that open doors into other areas. Unusually, you can clone your character multiple times and then control it to help you solve puzzles and progress in various...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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