Open-ended creation, collaboration and programming education... you can play some of the year's most positively impactful video games for free.
PlayStation creation suite Dreams won Game of the Year and, along with multiplayer mobile adventure Sky: Children of the Light, was one of two titles to clinch a pair of awards at the annual Games for Change Awards on July 14.
Sold as a video game for PlayStation 4, players can nevertheless create whatever they like within the rather open-ended parameters of Dreams, allowing not only for original games and homages to existing blockbuster releases, but also sculptures, films, interactive music videos and even an educational carbon footprint simulator.
Debuting as an in-development early access project in April 2019, it launched in February 2020.
Sky: Children of the Light, meanwhile, won Best Gameplay and the People's Choice public vote.
Received as a more communal riff on the moving PlayStation and PC hit Journey, it broke cover as a free iOS exclusive in July 2019. An Android version arrived in April 2020 and a Nintendo Switch edition is queued up for release by September.
The game encourages kindness and collaboration as a natural consequence of its design. Players together explore seven different realms and express themselves through optional paid cosmetic items and gifts.
The ceremony's other awardees included Rabbids Coding (free for PC, Best Learning Game), which teaches programming skills as imparted by mischievous alien bunnies; Sea of Solitude (Most Significant Impact) for its allegorical method of dealing with inner turmoil; immersive documentary The Holy City (Best XR), an entryway to understanding Jerusalem as a holy site for three major world religions; and sci-fi city builder Resilience (Best Student Game and free for PC, Mac and Linux via sungrazerstudio.com), which has players set up a temporary home for aliens on a distant moon.
The annual Vanguard Award, an acknowledgement of positive games industry influence, was this year given to Gordon Bellamy, the CEO of Gay Gaming Professionals, who has worked for Electronic Arts, Activision and Tencent, and is currently serving at the University of Southern California.
Microsoft was named beneficiary of the Industry Leadership Award for its work regarding education, mental health, and accessibility initiatives, while online retailer and publisher Humble Bundle was the inaugural recipient of the Giving Award.
Together with its customers it has raised US$182mil (RM775.77bil) for charitable causes over the past decade. – AFP Relaxnews
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