Harmony Square 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 Harmony Square in the following lists:
Success in video games is often framed at the personal level: the last person standing in Fortnite
, achieving high viewership on a Twitch stream, the best player in Rocket League
. However, many video games choose to focus players on a wider view, on working for the greater good of the world in which they live.
Games can develop a deep sense of civic identity. Civics is the study of the rights and obligations of citizens in society. Our civic identity comes from situating oneself within a larger group, often committing oneself to public action. Games give children a chance to try out taking public action within society for the greater good.
This list of games offers space for players to develop a sense of civic identity. We put it together with Barry Joseph
, who has worked in many contexts to empower children to achieve this. Whether at Global Kids, Inc, where he helped youth to acquire leadership skills and engage in efforts to address global issues through the production of digital media, in founding Games For Change, where he worked with video games as a form of youth media, or at Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, where he piloted digital engagement for girls around the country.
There are many mainstream games, not created specifically for education, that are a great way to engage with civic identity. This includes games that invite players to take control of civic space, like Alba
, One Hour, One Life
, Sim City
, Thousand Threads
Then there are games where civic space is presented as dysfunctional and in need of repair, like Papers Please
, Not For Broadcast
, Do Not Feed The Monkeys
. Other games let you take civic space in questionable or futile directions, like Headliner: NoviNews
, Bad News
and Photographs Puzzle Stories
Finally, there are some games specifically created to teach children about civics. The always-growing collection of games from iCivics explore U.S. Government functions, including Argument Wars
, Branches of Power
and Immigration Nation
. There is the novel Civics! An American Musical
that teaches US History through creating a Hamilton-style musical. Digital Compass
teaches digital citizenship through an interactive story and MP For A Week
that teaches children about being an MP in UK Parliament. Finally, the Democratic Socialism Simulator
is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country.
Games aren't only about quick reactions and shooting things. Many games, like the parlour games of the past, are about communication and quick wits. There is a whole group of games that are more about talking to other players than anything else.
These social deduction games put players in an unusual situation to work together to survive. However, one or more participants are secretly tasks with bringing the group down from the inside. These traitors usually need to do this carefully, because being found out means the main group can expel them from the game.
Some of these games, like Thief Town
, Spy Party
, challenge players to act in such a way that their in-game behaviour won't give them away. Other games in the list, like Among Us
or First Class Trouble
, require players to talk in the real world as well as in-game to build a case against each other.
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.
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.
All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.
Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made.
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.
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
These games’ mechanics and options make it possible to adapt the experience to be accessible for people depending on your physical capabilities.
Remap Controls: Remapping buttons and swapping joysticks (like Fortnite) help customize the player’s way to interact with the game, also helping players that use only one hand.
No Holding: Some games (like Moving Out) also offer the option to avoid having to hold any buttons down for actions like aiming, opening or equipping. You can use simple taps or toggles instead to reduce muscular fatigue.
Sensitivity: Some of these games (like Fortnite) also enable you to adjust control sensitivity as well as controller vibration if that is present.
Fewer Buttons: Simpler controls (like FIFA) are good to consider, as well as those that offer extensive difficulty settings.
Speed: Reducing how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) is a helpful setting.
Difficulty: Offering customisable difficulty, like how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) or adding invincibility (like Celeste), and other features allow tailoring the game to the player’s needs.
This list and accessibility details in each game was compiled the help of Antonio Ignacio Martínez
and Kyle “onehandmostly”
. Please be aware that options may vary depending on the platform you choose to play. Also there is no game that works the same for everyone, so be mindful of your own needs when considering this information.