Games can be powerful tools for healing and growth — that’s something we see again and again in the stories we share. But without game literacy, a lot of the games we love and recommend become a bit unapproachable. Sometimes even impenetrable.
Here, Extra Credits explains the idea of game literacy:
We all know people who aren’t games literate. That’s not a problem, but there are so many reasons to want to share games — like offering solace, finding a connection over shared experiences, or opening a door to new experiences. It’s not always easy to judge which games will make the best introduction to an entire medium.
That’s where Games For Friends comes in. It’s “a lovingly curated selection of games for people who don’t often play,” picked both for their quality and their approachability.
All of the games below were picked because they’re genuinely good, but also because they’re approachable: they’re easy to control and manipulate (for instance, they don’t rely heavily on navigation in a 3D space); they don’t require knowledge of game grammar and conventions; and they’re thematically distant from the very visible, and often violent, mainstream releases.
The games are all chosen by Robin Vilain, who has been sharing more on Twitter. The games are all from 2017, and fall into four categories: playful and cheery, lots of reading, a bit more thinking, and a good balance of all three. Some of them are games we’ve looked at, too, like Everything and A Mortician’s Tale.
If you’re looking for games to share with the people you love who are open to games but not very literate in them, you may want to start with 2017’s Best Games for Friends Who Don’t Play Games. Once they learn the ropes, the wide universe of games awaits.