Video games have always been seen as simple entertainment and yet, over the years, they have often found themselves playing the role of mirror of the weaknesses and psychology of the human soul. The video game world, thanks to the great variety of genres between which it can range, has in fact been able to develop the most human themes through adventure, fun and, at times, even fear. Gaming has long been at the forefront of many heated debates about the way in which games affect our psychology, mood and social activity. However, gaming is also proven to be hugely beneficial in a number of areas. In fact, there are many changes within the gaming world also relating to mental health which is also for the better.
Here are some game titles that have a psychological theme. When completed, they leave the gamer’s mind full of thoughts. It is important to note that these titles are certainly games that will test your mind, pique your curiosity and perhaps even alter your psychology.
The Cat Lady
Certainly less known than some of the huge games on the market today, but, The Cat Lady is a psychological horror developed by Harvester Gamesand focused on very different themes: friendship, the relationship between life and death, violence, depression. It all starts with Susan Ashworth, a young woman who, without work and without affection, decides to end her life by swallowing too many tranquilizers. Things, however, do not go as she had foreseen, and she finds herself in a dream world, where she will be forced to fight for the very life she had decided to give up. Susan’s journey will lead her to face extremely macabre and bloody scenes, which certainly benefit the horror part of the title, but which also allow to address social issues that will remain in the gamer’s mind. The title is available on Windows PC and Linux.
A son walked into an amusement park right after closing time to retrieve the lost teddy bear. Attractions that come to life and bring to mind the tragic events that characterized the park’s past. All the prerequisites for a good horror title are there, but not only: The Park, a psychological video game developed by Funcom, behind this beginning of the linear plot also develops the difficult past of the protagonist. The latter is Lorraine, a mother and widow with a troubled past, who relives her frustrations and difficulties as she continues her journey in the park in search of her son Callum. To put a strain on the psychology of the gamer is the fact that the protagonist has no means to defend herself or hide, as well as the “life bar”, the only thing Lorraine can do is, in fact, call her son Callum, with an increasingly frightened voice that will show its frailties and insecurities. The title is available on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
The Deep End Games title is a first-person adventure that tackles the theme of blindness.
The protagonist is Cassie, a blind woman who decides to leave to find (and explore) the huge villa that appears continuously in her nightmares. Her search for truth takes place thanks to echolocation, a skill that allows her to identify the contours of the environment and surrounding objects by means of noise, in a sort of simplified sonar. In addition to being part of the video games based on psychology, Perception also presents horror tints due to the “Presence”, or the antagonist of the story, who cannot be killed directly and is attracted by too much noise. Beyond these nuances, the title proves to be able to tackle a sensitive issue such as blindness with a soft step and in a very simple way. The game is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
That Dragon, Cancer
The small group of developers gathered under the name of Nominous Games tackles, with That Dragon, Cancer, one of the most complex issues: disease. The autobiographical title with point and click elements tells the story of the Greens and their son Joel, suffering from brain cancer that leads doctors to give him up for dead in less than a year. The story is divided into fourteen chapters that summarize the most intense moments in the life of the trio, starting from the discovery of the pathology to the difficulties of therapy, all enriched by many details (such as postcards, recordings and photos) that make the story even more dramatic. The title is available on PC and Mac.
Although these video games are very different in terms of gameplay and plot, they are able to bring the player into a world in which one is forced to face every difficulty relying only on one’s own strength. They are able to represent social themes with a naturalness that makes them almost more “bearable” – this is why it allows video games to be used in many different scenarios and to create a type of empathy that is important for social growth.
Limiting your time to any psychological games is vital. Of course, we love to get comfy, by searching the best bean bag chairs for gaming and getting it in situ. You should also be sure to keep hydrated whilst gaming and eat at regular intervals. It is obvious that we get easily carried away and lose track of time but limiting the gaming times can help, especially if you are tackling a game that is dealing with heavy psychological storylines.
However, gaming helps us develop linguistic, attentional and visual-spatial skills thanks to discussion and playing. The interactive nature improves reading and math skills. In fact, there is a lot of data that the brain processes during any game. There are also many games created to train the brain such as solving puzzles or math problems, such as Wii Fit Plus. During these cognitive games there is a strong part of physical training. You can find a plethora of reviews and inspiration on our Blog to help pick a game that is just perfect for you.