As a kid we heard the phrase, “Video games will rot your brain” from parents, grandparents and teachers, all of whom quoted science and scientists as the source. Well, now that we have science and scientists stating that video games probably don’t rot your brain, it’s time to start thinking bigger. If your child is already a gamer, it’s a good time to introduce them to games that feature creativity.
Creativity in gaming has existed in many forms. SimCity and Railroad Tycoon are easy early examples, but even games like Tetris involve a significant amount of creative thinking. Today, we have games like Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program taking the player-built concept to new heights. Minecraft is a name I’d expect most parents to recognize, but the world of creative games is enormous.
Creativity doesn’t have to equal Minecraft
Minecraft is great, and the header isn’t meant to make anyone think otherwise. But like the kids who play nothing but shooters, kids who play nothing but Minecraft aren’t utilizing the full range of experiences gaming offers. Kids need a mix of brainless shooting and pure creativity. LEGO Worlds, Dragon Quest Builders and Portal Knights all try to alter the Minecraft formula to one with a bit more adventure, and they all do a good job in their own way.
But this is a PlayStation site, and it’d be criminal if I didn’t mention the best hybrid game: LittleBigPlanet. LittleBigPlanet was first released on PlayStation 3 in 2008 and was followed by LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet 3, LittleBigPlanet Vita and LittleBigPlanet Karting. LittleBigPlanet 3 is the only entry in the series to release on the PlayStation 4, but its poor reception due to bugs and gameplay issues sent it on a path of endless PSN sales and a stagnant-by-comparison online community until it was a PlayStation Plus free game—the mark of death for any non-indie game these days.
Hybrid is the new thing, and it’s awesome
Hybrid creative/gameplay games seem to be getting more popular, with games like Crossout showing the formula works. I mentioned Crossout in the What We’re Playing for July, as it continues to be the most popular game in my household. Crossout allows players to build their own vehicle, including frames, wheels, weapons, and armor, then take that vehicle into battle against other players’ custom vehicles. Crossout players like to take to YouTube to share the most powerful, cool-looking or ridiculous creations. The shooting in the game is pretty rewarding too. Each individual piece of a car can be destroyed. You can completely disable someone’s vehicle before finishing them off. It’s satisfying for everyone.
What does the future hold for creativity in games?
With games like Cities: Skylines, Dreams and Tropico 6 on the horizon, creativity has a home on PlayStation 4. Hybrid games can be a little harder to identify, especially since the PlayStation Store doesn’t have a “Creative” filter. Maybe this will help:
Hey @PlayStation, could we get a “Creative” filter in the PS Store’s Genre list? LittleBigPlanet, Minecraft, Crossout (and many others) fit.
— PlayStation Compass (@PSCompass) July 5, 2017
Normally you’d have to search through the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Blog, trying to find anything. That’s why I’m here. Follow/Like on social media or sign up for the email list and you’ll be better equipped.