Video games can offer a playful approach to learning a new concept, providing a jumping off point for diving deeply into a topic. Games can’t do all the teaching, but they are an engaging way to get kids thinking — even about ethics.
It might seem strange that a video game could promote empathy given some research suggesting video game play can actually dull empathy because they take place in a simulated world, rather than the real one. But Quandary’s developers don’t see those critiques as applicable in their game. Instead, they see it as a tool that allows players to experience a diverse set of character viewpoints. “The game offers a unique decision-making mechanic, one where the choices and outcomes available to players are not a binary ‘good or bad’, and where there are no easy, right answers,” said Stidwill. “It’s designed to promote reflection and discussion – and from what we’ve seen, it does this really well.