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The Best Non-Violent Video Games (Hardback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Gaming

By James Batchelor
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 365 colour integrated
ISBN: 9781399084925
Published: 2nd August 2023

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What if there were video games that weren’t about killing things?

The world’s biggest entertainment medium has come under decades of scrutiny because of its violent content. But here’s a little known fact: from the very beginning, non-violent video games have done as much, if not more, to shape the industry than violent ones.

The Best Non-Violent Video Games is the first ever guide to the full breath of interactive entertainment. Discover the true variety the medium has to offer and learn how developers constantly find new ways to engage people by challenging their minds, testing their reflexes, and even tugging at the heartstrings.

Take a journey through more than three hundred video games, stretching back to the very dawn of the industry and extending right up to modern day indie hits. You’ll learn more about the origins of some of gaming’s biggest franchises, discover underrated gems from developers of all sizes, and perhaps even find some new favourites.

Written by a journalist with over 15 years of industry experience and more than 30 years of gaming experience, this guide is for anyone seeking something truly different from the video games space without dealing with guns and gore, or those simply looking for a change of pace.

Author interview on the Codex: History of Video Games podcast.

Watch the episode here!

Codex: History of Video Games podcast, Episode 266

Author interview on the Still Loading podcast.

Listen to the episode here!

Still Loading Podcast, Episode 288

As featured in the article: 'Gentle gamers swap weapons for a jetwash in video revolution'

The Times

I would recommend this to anyone with a strong interest in video games, both past and present.

NetGalley, Dori Huffman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a nice collection of non-violent video games, collected from Twitter/Tumblr accounts that the author runs. It's a nice book to just kind of casually flick through and read if you want some ideas about video games to play. There is a nice mix of 'big' games and lesser known ones, so even as a video game researcher I was able to find entries I hadn't heard of. It's not an examination of non-violent games (except content wise I guess) so don't expect that, but it does the the job on the tin.

NetGalley, Laura Helsby

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Reading this as a gamer fanatic I wasn’t sure what to expect but really enjoyed it….because it is all about non violent games obviously there are a fair few puzzles and management games but found it did span history well from Candy Crush to City Sims.

I enjoyed the history, the sales info and info re sequels and also was pleased it listed the platforms the games were released on.

A true handbook of facts that any gamer will find concise and interesting.

NetGalley, Mark Fearn

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I came here for the Sims cover and I got so much more. What a great book!

I hadn't really ever thought about family friendly games like Plants Vs Zombies or Mario as being violent, but of course they are. 🍄

This book really gets you thinking about what games you might already play that are truly non-violent. It offers an extensive list of fun games to try depending on which platform you use.

I was thrilled to see games like Pong, Tetris, the Sims, Beat Saber, Fall Guys and George's favourite; Frogger, make an appearance. The Sims being the GOAT, in my opinion 🙃

I've already added some of these games to my list. Happy gaming! 🎮

NetGalley, Belle Hart

I love this book. It is so helpful to know more about non-violent video games. There are so many violent games that kids play I wish there was more push for the games highlighted in this book. Hoping this book excites kids to try some games they have not heard of before.

NetGalley, Vanessa Eyre

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An engaging and informative guide to lesser known but no less entertaining section of video games. Each entry details a game where the goal is not to win through violence or harm to others. The games themselves range from titles from major companies to indie picks and hidden gems and span a wide range of genres as well. A wide-ranging and insightful guide to an important collection of video games.

NetGalley, DeAnna DeHoff

It was really interesting to read the reasoning behind what was selected, and the criteria that each item had to meet. There are a lot of games that I love on here, and some I haven't heard of but want to look into.

NetGalley, Lindy Placke

A great look at a load of video games that aren't your typical 'violent' computer games. An interesting read for all ages!

NetGalley, Emma Byrne

About James Batchelor

James Batchelor is a trade journalist in the video games industry, currently editor-in-chief of GamesIndustry.biz, and creator of Non-Violent Game Of The Day, a blog and Twitter account that aims to raise the profile of non-violent video games. He is also a father, a fantasy author, a soundtrack nerd, and an avid gamer (who does still play violent games, but always on Easy or Story mode).

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