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Harmony Square Review

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Posted: 3 months ago.

Author: Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Harmony Square is a text-based adventure game about fake news. You live in idyllic Harmony Square and are hired as Chief Disinformation Officer whose job is to disturb the square’s peace and quiet by fomenting internal divisions and pitting its residents against each other.

You choose a persona and make decisions on how best to subvert the community. As you post on social media you steadily work to cause conflict and arguments. You play on the side of people using media to scare and control, but the goal of the game is to expose the tactics and manipulation techniques that are used to mislead people, build up a following, or exploit societal tensions for political purposes.

As you use various techniques to cause divisions they get a first hand understanding of how to spot manipulation techniques in social media posts. The game responds to you choices through the headline ticker and number of likes you have accumulated.

This game was created as part of a study with results published in the journal Harvard Misinformation Review. The research behind the game suggests that this reduces their willingness to share manipulative content with people in their network. Over the course of 4 levels, players learn about 5 manipulation techniques commonly used in the spread of political media content: trolling, using emotional language, polarizing audiences, spreading conspiracy theories, and artificially amplifying the reach of their content through bots and fake likes.

DetailsGame Details

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 06/11/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Web

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @wijzijnDROG

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between half an hour and 40 minutes to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Harmony Square

Web Free
 
This game is free to play. Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Harmony Square was written with an audience in mind of ages 15 and up. The game contains minor references to mild forms of violence (including rude language on a fictional social media network, although no swear words are used), but doesn’t feature content that is likely to be perceived as graphically shocking. While the game does contain some references to real-world events, its scenarios are entirely fictional. Effort has been made to make the game as inclusive as possible, and it can be enjoyed by players from all backgrounds.
 
This game has not yet been rated, but we anticipate it is likely to be rated PEGI 16.
 
This game has not yet been rated, but we anticipate it is likely to be rated ESRB TEEN.

AccessibilityAccessibility

We haven't recorded accessibility settings for this game yet. Our Harmony Square Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@wijzijnDROG) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

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Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Harmony Square or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Harmony Square, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB TEEN games.

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Image of the cover of the hardback edition of the Taming Gaming book  by Andy Robertson Image 311 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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