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Space For Loneliness Games on PlayStation 3

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 9 games from the last 17 years, with 212 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 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation
Era: 2005 - 2019
Total Games: 9
Total Likes: 212
 

 

Journey

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 2-player online game

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Portal (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Heavy Rain

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 06/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Quantic Dream (@Quantic_Dream)

Players: This is a single-player game

Heavy Rain is from the same Quantic Dream studio who made Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. It preceded these games but shared the same branching narrative and photo-realistic aspirations.

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

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...

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/08/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Starbreeze AB (@StarbreezeAB)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an action-adventure game where you control two brothers at the same time with a single controller. After their mother passes away, they must find some water from the Tree of Life to save their father. The controls weave...

Never Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Never Alone Game (@NeverAloneGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

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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