Beyond Good and Evil
This game tells the journey of the main character, Jade. As a protagonist, she shows us the powers of journalism and non-violence. She is a POC Women, which is rare in the gaming industry. As a result, is not only one of gaming’s most unique protagonists, but she is also one of its greatest. This game is not just approved, it is a must play. Plus, it is non-violent, so it is good for all ages.
Last of Us 2
This is one of the most recent games on this list. The Last of Us 2, was groundbreaking for its queer-inclusion. However, the game does have some violence. For that reason, it is important that you come into the game with the right headspace. In the end, the brilliant story, and accessible game play land this game a spot on this list.
Life Is Strange Series
This game was the first game that made me realize that video games could be art. The game play is amazing, and the choices, while hard, are realistic. I have never seen a more realistic depiction of life as a neurodivergent person. Even as the world gets more and more surreal, Max’s life somehow gets more relatable. This game also sneaks in a great anti-gun subplot, which I will not spoil here. Overall, this game is another must play.
Fallout New Vegas.
This may seem like an odd choice on this list, and its inclusion does not come without caveats. Firstly, there is a massive trigger warning, for anyone who is sensitive to post apocalyptic scenarios. Secondly, this game is only approved when played correctly. Siding with the NCR is the only moral choice. The reason that this game is included on this list in the first place is because of its use as a teaching aid. Fallout presents a perfect microcosm of what this country might turn into. As a result, many journalists choose to walk the road of the courier, to better understand themselves, and the world around them.
Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2 was almost not included on this list. However, it has enough potential that it is included almost as an honorable mention. This game has a massive trigger warning attached to it. Also, its spot on this list would be more stable if they were able to expand the story of the C.U.R.E. As it stands, this game should really be avoided, unless you are sure that you are in the right headspace to understand and study the subtitles of the C.U.R.E. Once that subplot is over, you should turn off the game.
Sword and Sworcery
It may be hard to tell looking at it, but this game has an incredible strong female lead. The fact that her gender is downplayed is actually helps show just how little gender matters. While it can be a cryptic and hard to understand game, it is an incredibly beautiful and compelling title. Since it is not graphically intensive, this game can run on most systems, making it a great game for people on a budget. If you get a chance to play this game, you will not regret it.
Tetris was one of the first journalist approved games. It is a brain game, so us journalists are naturally great at it. In fact, we even had one of the top 25 Tetris players on staff as a bot developer for a while. Sadly, they passed on. To this day, this is the game that we go to in order to pay tribute and remember him. On top of all of the personal attachment we have to the game, we also recognize that the game has an important story to tell. A story about learning that you can fit in without changing yourself. A story about breaking down walls. This game is the peak of journalist approved games.
I am choosing to lump this genre of games into one group. Simulator games are useful educational tools. Electoral simulators are a cheap and fun way to assist in election predictions. If you want to know more about using electoral simulators to beat pollsters, check out my article here.
On the surface this game may seem hard to approach. However, if you give this game a chance, you will be astounded by its ambitious story. This is also a great example of a game made by a badass woman. Brianna Wu, somehow threads the needle between having a compelling story and exiting game play. All while maintaining a diverse cast. This game is so good that Inclusive Gamer gave it a rare perfect score. It is a must play.
This is a great example of a harmless game. While the game does not challenge systemic issues in America, it does present a fun distraction from the coming apocalypse. It also happens to be one of Dustin Levett’s favorite games. In general idle games like this are a fine distraction, as long as they don’t become a habit.
Gone home is a story based game, where you experience the life of a queer person returning home from college. The story is challenging, and really needed to be told. This game can be a bit hard to get into. However, once you get invested in the world, you won’t be able to put it down. This game is a great tool for anyone who is struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation.
This game was not going to be on this list. However, one of our community members took a great deal of time explaining to us this game’s educational value. It turns out that this might be the only ethical game that valve has ever released. Not only does it star a strong female character, but it also highlights that her real strength is her intelligence. This is a cerebral puzzle experience, and it is a great tool to get young kids interested in physics.
If you have ever wanted a way to make the music listening experience more exciting, AudioSurf is the answer. While the original game could use an update, This game is still one I go back to whenever I want to add another level of enjoyment to jamming out to journalist tracts.
Sims 4 is one of the only life sim games that actually lets you simulate real life. In all it’s JLGBTQ glory. The Sims series has come a far way in terms of accessibility. While the original games lacked options for trans folk, the Sims 4 has a full featured gender and sex menu. This game is an absolute joy to play, and it does a lot to tear down the stigma of non-cis folks. If you or your child is still trying to discover themselves, this is a great game to play.