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Creative Games sans Violence?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the engaging-the-intellect dept.

Games 604

jolyon_jnr asks: "I'm looking for games to use in an unusual educational setting: a school within a Juvenile Detention Centre. I don't set policy, so the 'no violence' is a fixed criteria. I want to engage students' creativity and problem solving skills, without using 'boring educational software'. I've thought of Lemmings and The Incredible Machine. What other suggestions can you offer? Please bear in mind that most students have very low literacy levels, but will learn if motivated sufficiently."

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Suggestion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273028)

Try Reader Rabbit! I played it in elementary school. It was fun. Violent anti-social criminals should love it!

hmmm (3, Informative)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273031)

any of the Sim-lines (SimCity, SimRollercoaster, SimGolf, etc..)

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273057)

Sim-City ?
These riots and the alien monster in SimCity 2000 weren't violence ?

Re:hmmm (0, Redundant)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273066)

Ah, but SimCity had evil monsters that ravaged cites, and crazy, pixel-sized rioters who set fires who could only be stopped by sending in the police or the military.

Re:hmmm (2)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273098)

And the Lemmings had SUICIDAL RODENTS THAT EXPLODED ON IMPACT WITH THE GROUND! Apparently tehre is SOME leeway...

Re:hmmm (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273111)

I wonder if The Sims would have a good or bad impact on them. Would they want to have the families fail and fight or would they learn from the positive growth of the people within the game?

It would be interesting to see how each child would react.

Re:hmmm (1)

gwallen3141 (469203) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273162)

The poser of the question didn't specify the context in which the games would be used. It sounds like this might be better suited to a psych/clinical environment rather than as a distraction for their free time.

Re:hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273138)

If I remember correctly, typing "porn" in the DOS version of SC2000 yielded a sound clip of a guy saying "Can't get enough."

Mindrover (5, Interesting)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273036)

Cognitoy [] makes an excellent (and engrossing) game called Mindrover, in which you have to design and program a vehicular robot to do certain things (follow waypoints, chase another robot, or destroy the opposing robot).

I don't know if a vehicle-on-vehicle rocket launcher qualifies as 'violence' or not (since these are very clearly toy robots going at it), but it's certainly an awesome game, even apart from it's educational value.

Loki [] has also ported it to Linux, and thier port is flawless.

Re:Mindrover (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273092)

destroy the opposing robot


vehicle-on-vehicle rocket launcher


Loki [] has also ported it to Linux

Intellectually violent.

and thier port is flawless.

No, its flaw is that it runs on Linux.

I know it sucks, but... (5, Interesting)

Spagornasm (444846) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273042)

Did you consider any of the Myst series? Those can engage the eye candy requirement, and also help them develop complex problem solving skills...that is, if they understand different bases and number theory :-)...

Re:I know it sucks, but... (1)

Strog (129969) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273094)

I was going to suggest Riven but your post covered it well enough. I really wish there were more games like this to play when I don't feel like fragging.

Re:I know it sucks, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273103)

Why it sucks? The Myst series is a great one. -Myst3:Exile- is maybe the easiest and the more accessible for the no-geek population.

Re:I know it sucks, but... (1)

Spagornasm (444846) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273144)

The reason I said it sucks is because I found them ultimately frustrating (I'm speaking from Myst I and II). It was just a bunch of slide shows leading up to extraordinarily complex puzzles to solve (and rediculously small windows for watching videos). I guess it was just the level of the puzzles that got to me (I was like 12 at the time) - I didn't get using different bases for numbers, or using a tape recorder to remember the specific sequence of tone required to unlock a door 25 static screens seemed pointless after a while.

Old games are still the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273043)

What about chess or go ?

Re:Old games are still the best (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273051)

They can't play chess, it as violent as hell. Look at what it did to Bobby Fischer.

Low literacy levels? (5, Interesting)

liquidweb (154468) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273044)

To suggest a solution as well as a direct statement of their literacy, I'd suggest anything in the "You Don't Know Jack" series. Seriously though good stuff.

Re:Low literacy levels? (5, Interesting)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273166)

The biggest problem with any trivia game is that it requires that you learn the trivia in your own time, and it does not really teach any information.

Having taught in a "school within a school", I can tell you that what seems to work for your mental frame does not translate. That is *not* to say that the students are dumb... in fact, some of the single mothers and drug addicts (yes, Florida throws them in together; genius) are well read and/or were good students before they entered the alternative systems. Also, they get all the nice new computer systems.

There is hope for these kids, but even more than "mainstream" students, you have to focus on their individual issues. And (and I hate this as much as you do), you have to pick which ones to give up on to focus on the ones you *can* help.

Bah - there's a reason I *used* to teach. Maybe I will again... but not until I feel I can do it without becoming irrevocably cynical.


hmm (0, Troll)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273046)

What about Axis & Allies? It's a strategy game based on WWII.

And are there any rules against pornograhpic games?

Lemmings is "no-violence"? (3, Informative)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273048)

I guess you forget the part where they all explode. If that counts as "no-violence" you should have very little problem finding games.

Or you could try any of the many puzzle games out there: Tetris, Bust-A-Move, etc. There are plenty of adventure games that don't feature violence, as well.

Re:Lemmings is "no-violence"? (2, Funny)

dalinian (177437) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273123)

Explode? That's not violence, that's just cute! "Oh no!" *dopdopdopdopdopdopdop* :-)

Some Examples (3, Informative)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273049)

Sim City 3000 (or 2000 if your hardware is not powerful enough)

Rollercoaster Tycoon (my wife's favorite)

Railroad Tycoon II

Re:Some Examples (3, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273104)


any of the games could be used to simulate violence (even the ones you suggested)

in TIM you can do nasty things to cats, mice and fishes
in lemmings you can nuke them all
in SimCity you can build a city and destroy it
in RCT you can build rollercoasters that crash
I assume that in RRT you can get trains to crash as well

Please take this into consideration when picking your title. Note, I am NOT saying that people would use the games to do these things, but the possibility is there, and if it happens you (or whomever approved the games) might have some explaining to do, so I suggest that in your proposal you explain that creative games could *theoretically* be used to simulate violence, even if that's obviously not the aim of the game itself.

Blame Adequacy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273050)


Times have changed.
The trolls are getting worse.
They won't obey the admins,
They just want to spam and curse!

Should we blame the Geekizoid?
Or Slashdot 2.3?
Should we be blaming Kuro5hin's Rusty?

No! Blame Adequacy!
Blame Adequacy!
With their flaming little whines,
And trolling posts so full of lies!

Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
It's the trolls' brand new assult,
And it's Adequacy's fault!

Don't blame Slash,
For my friend Jim,
He went to Adequacy,
And now he acts like Michael Simms!

All my other friends,
Would never have acted like rats,
But now they're indistinguishable from Katz!

Well, blame Adequacy!
Blame Adequacy!
It seems the trolls have gotten long,
Since Adequacy came along!
Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
They're not even a cool website anyway.

My friends were once the very very best of karma whores,
But now they're ranting raving frothing trolling right-wing bores!

Should we blame the spammers,
Or those who moderate?
Or should we sit around and masturbate?

No way!

Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
Self-righteous trolling that we see,
And that bitch "nakedac",

Blame Adequacy,
Shame on Adequacy,
The nerds we must herd,
The crap we must tap,
The trolls at that place,
Must all be erased,
The fascists we see must all cease to be,
Before somebody thinks of blaming me!

Oh for crying out loud... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273173)

Get a life you stupid twit

Oregon trail. (5, Funny)

Bad_CRC (137146) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273055)

Worked great for us oldtimers. :D

Re:Oregon trail. (3, Interesting)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273095)

Someone should do a survey to see what percentage of current IT (in the right age range) staff played Oregon Trail in school as a kid. I bet it's at least 90%.

I know I did...and almost bought the newer release a while back just for fun.

Re:Oregon trail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273114)

I played that too.. you had to kill animals for food. That's violent. Might make you want to hunt and, "God forbid", kill creatures for _food_. Then where would we be?


Old board games: (5, Insightful)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273056)

Chess, backgammon, go.
Scrabble, trivial pursuit.
Kensington (if thats available in computer form)

carmen sandiego (5, Informative)

bigpat (158134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273062)

I liked Where in the world is carmen sandiego... put them on the other side of the law. ID =244

Definition of violence... (1)

xTown (94562) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273064)

What counts as violence? Does the hunting "sim" in Oregon Trail and Oregon Trail II count as violence? Seriously, because I always liked Oregon Trail.

Otherwise...SimCity (SimAnything, really), the Sims, RollerCoaster Tycoon. Whatever the new version of "Disney's Coaster" is called. (I always loved that game.)

Anyway, I think we need to know what the definition of violence is in this case, because some games that none of us would consider violent (like the aforementioned Oregon Trail) might not qualify.

Retro games (4, Informative)

MSBob (307239) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273065)

Retro games should fit the criteria you specify. I don't know about their educational value but most will certainly meet the "non-violence" criteria. The ones that come to my mind include: Tetris, Manic Miner, Pirates, Boulder Dash etc. Often times they are more exciting that todays offerings and are pretty cost effective to purchase.

For a modern collection of PG rated titles try most things published by Nintendo. Actually Mario 64 was an excellent game in itself and a pretty challenging one too.

Hope this helps.

Define violence please... (1)

CaptIronfist (457257) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273067)

Maybe you should define the term violence, cause if you ask me a bunch of lemmings shooting each other with bazookas is a bit violent. ;)

With the violence term defined, i would still think a good game on the Europeen Wars with many many historical references would do the job extremely well. Try Cossacks, even if it isn't a good game for your project, it's still a good game to try out.

The Sims (2, Insightful)

tester13 (186772) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273070)

I think the Sims would be a great game for the kids you are working with. It teaches time management, the value of relationships, and is very addictive.

It could possibly be a loose model on successful living

Sim/Tycoon games (2)

Cederic (9623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273072)

Give them games from the Sim series (SimCity, Theme Park, etc) and games such as Railroad Tycoon 2. They are highly absorbing, require competitive and creative thought, but feature no guns or violence.

How about giving them some RPGs? Not sure if you can sneak them past the violence censors, but games that encourage teamwork should be considered a good thing.

Of course, adventure games will probably be fine too. But I hate them so I can't make any recommendations.


Lemmings? (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273074)

Don't they have bombs and other ways of dieing? Does that count as nonviolent? (I know I think of it as a not so violent game, but if you are in a zero tolerance world....)

There use to be a amusement park simulator, I don't recall any violence in that. There are other sim games, but many have traces of violence (like that nasty hand in SimAnt...or riots in a poorly managed city...).

Of corse sim games may be a bit hard for people with low literacy, but that may be an advantage since their game play will improve as they manage to read more :-)

simcity 3000 unlimited (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273076)

this game has no violence, and inspires creativity. I would also think that it helps them learn to manage money and create revenue.

Myst, Riven, etc. (3, Redundant)

Alpha_Geek (154209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273078)

The Myst [] family of games is completely non-violent and requires problem solving skills. I think they could be along the lines of what your looking for.

Games (3, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273079)

Some good ones:

Roller coaster tycoon
Flight Sim 2000
Pipe dream (an old water puzzle game where you built plumbing to see how many pieces you could use.)

Have you looked at any of the old text adventures: Activision has a CD with a number of old Infocom games such as Zork, which while they do have fighting (Sometimes), it's all text and not very graphic. Great puzzle solving games. Frotz, a free interpreter for text adventure games, has a pretty good following, with a number of games available.

Finally, have you considered plain old Legos?

Err chess? (2, Interesting)

MrP3ach (517077) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273080)

Or perhaps even civilisation or some historical wargame/strtegy game i.e Steel Panthers. You could use Typing of the Dead to teach keyboard skills or do these count as violent and could be disturbing to their fragile little minds. Though quite how it will help is beyond me. What do you want to teach these people? How to use a computer or how to play games?

wrong forum (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273081)

this question shouldn't be on ask slashdot.

it should be on ask child psychologist.

like geeks and social inept nerds would know

More suggestions: (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273083)

Roller Coaster Tycoon and expansions. Only violence bits are those that would vandalize the park, which is given negative implications since it lowers the park rating and you can hire security guards to help protect it.

Caesar III, Pharaoh/Cleopatra and Zeus. All are simcity-like, but with historical bents. There are some elements to building an army as necessary to defend your city at times, but you simply tell people to defend or attack, and do little else in terms of battle. Zeus and C III have a bit more of this than Pharaoh.

Re:More suggestions: (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273108)

yes let it be know that there is no boold and gore, just little Icons dissapear in a cloud of smoke, also, any sid meier game will do well like alph centari

How about multi-player civilization (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273084)

and tweak the settings so economic cooperation is rewarded more than conquest. Could also have additional materials so that when they discover some new technology, you can go into it in more depth than the program does.

Text adventures (3, Informative)

Cosmicbandito (160658) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273085)

Why not help them increase their literacy level while they have fun? There are plenty of text adventures that are non-violent and engaging. Any of the infocom titles would be an excellent choice, with the exception of HHGTG. That one might be a bit frustrating. As an added bonus, these games will run on the simplest of hardware and don't require frequent fixing. Also, it might foster a sense of community among your juveniles, forcing them to share solutions to puzzles.

Even the Sims can be violent (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273086)

I mean you watch people starve to death, pleading for their life, that's pretty violent.

Re:Even the Sims can be violent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273192)

Invite everyone over for a pool party and then take away the pool ladder. You'll see sims get real violent then.

Droidworks (5, Informative)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273087)

Lemmings qualifies as non-violent? The game where those cute little guys can fall off cliffs, be fried by flamethrowers, blown up, drowned, decapitated, and squished? That Lemmings? :-)

Anyway, I recommend Droidworks [] . You build droids to solve various puzzles, then pilot them in an over-the-shoulder view. My kids love it.

How about... (0, Redundant)

eander315 (448340) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273088)

Chess? Have fun getting them to play it, but if they do, there's no better strategy game out there. The Sims might be good too, as a way to teach the value of money, time management, etc. Possibly the old Zork games might be a good choice as well, although the amount of reading involved may prove to be a stumbling block at first. Good Luck...

Rollercoster Tycoon (1)

WarmFuzzy (49975) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273089)

I know it's been said, but not heartily enough. Rollercoaster Tycoon seems to engage children (and adults like me) far more quickly than any sim-style game I've ever seen. Every child is familiar with the concept of an amusement park, and the chance to build and manage your own seems to suck them right in. I've seen kids get hooked on the game from age 7, and kids as old as, um, 27, play it to death.


Sokoban (3, Interesting)

Wolfgar (410330) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273090)

This is a great little addictive game where the object is to push boxes through a maze to designated destinations without getting any of them stuck (e.g. pushing one into the can't push it out of there)

try TuxTyping or Tetris... (1)

sup4hleet (444456) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273093)

werd it's all in the subject ^^^

Battle Chess (1)

Jebediah21 (145272) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273096)

If you find an older version it would run well on old hardware too.

What is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273097)

Webster's defines it thusly: "News (n): (1) A duck with three legs (2) A mutual agreement which is unbreakable". Which is unbreakable. I rest my case.

Marble Drop by Maxis (0)

billmaly (212308) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273099)

I played a demo of this a number of years ago, never saw it in stores. Maxis (makers of SC2000) created Marble Drop, a game similar to The Incredible Machine. Might be worth looking at.


Re:Marble Drop by Maxis (0)

billmaly (212308) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273122)

Follow up--Amazon has Marble Drop, available in the "Electronic Arts Top Ten Family Fun Pack", and also available separately (ZShops). The Top Ten pack includes SimCity, SimAnt, etc. $20 for 10 games...heck of a deal!


How about... (1)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273102)

Sokoban ! This neat little game is very simple learn, avaible in a wide variety of implementation (most for free) and it indocrtinates abstract thinking...

Adventures (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273107)

How about Grim Fandangoo.
Splenid graphics (quite important I would say for people who aren't necessarily interested in computers in any way (and therefor I would think that Tetris and the whole lot won't do)), and good fun!

"Abstract" games (2)

geophile (16995) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273109)

The two most addictive games I have ever found are Qix (late 70s, I think) and Tetris. No violence, and in fact no people at all. Just moving shapes.

time to boycott...something! (0, Troll)

G Neric (176742) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273112)

I don't set policy, so the 'no
violence' is a fixed criteria.

dude, this is slashdot, home to people who think like RMS, Jon Katz, Jamie McCarthy... you know, frothy thinkers. you have to believe, like the rest of us, that (1) violent games aren't bad, and (2) any principle (regardless of its truth-value) is worth sacrificing everything for, or at least threatening too.

So, you should dress in black and engage in civil disobedience till this misguided no-violence policy is changed. Or, at least till XP is released, then protest that instead. While waiting to be noticed, call the EFF: surely they will take this case. Also, try to induce your employers to violate the GPL. That will surely get those "loosers" in a world of hurt.

A few that are great for schools (0, Flamebait)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273115)

  • Quake
  • Quake 3 - Urban Terror
  • Soldier of Fortune
  • The doom series
  • Wolfenstein, if your looking for that vintage feel

Opps ...

mudding (5, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273118)

Get them into mudding. Find a mud that focusses on exploration and quest solving, rather than fighting. Then it meets the non-violence criteria.

Several advantages to muds (MUD, MUSH, etc:
- boosts literacy (text only feedback means you HAVE to read)
- teaches you to type fast
- social interaction
- intelligent inquisitive types will want to learn how to extend the mud == learning to code == gaining rather useful skills
- people will try to figure out how to cheat. This is healthy - it means they are applying creative thought.
- making the kids admin the mud puts them in a position of responsibility


Re:mudding (1)

Woefdram (143784) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273177)

Find a mud that focusses on exploration and quest solving, rather than fighting. Then it meets the non-violence criteria.

I think that's going to be a problem. I played MUD very (very) intensely for quite some time, but I haven't seen a single one in which fighting wasn't almost a goal in itself.

But the idea is very good, I think. Maybe you could have those kids rearrange an existing MUD engine into a non-violent one, provided that at least some of them can program. Question then is: what are you going to turn it into? You could replace the fighting by bargaining or exploring, but I think it would be difficult to make it as interesting as plain old slaying (insert evil grin here).

But how about a simple game of chess? I know from my own experience that a good chess program can be highly addictive. No violence, lots of challenge.

What about sierra? (3, Informative)

MusicGeek (452558) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273121)

How about the King's Quest games. If I remember correctly at least the first four were non-violent, although the owl in KQ IV sometimes made me want to kill somebody.

Computer games (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273125)

Are evil. Make them read books instead. Only then will they be free from the spiritual slavery that is the modern world.

Vikings (1)

Woefdram (143784) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273127)

Some years ago I used to play Vikings, a rather simple game in terms of sound and video, but a real mind-twister from time to time. You had three Vikings, with their particular skills. You had to combine those skills in order to get all three of them from level to level.

I don't know in how far the no violence means can't hit anything, but you have to kill dinosaurs and cavemen every now and then. The killing part is like Space Invaders: you shoot and it drops. No blood, no screams, no satanical laughing.

As I said, it's been quite some time since I played it, so I can't provide you with a link now. I'll see if I can find the disks at home. If I do, I'll let you know.

I guess... (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273129)

Sierra's SWAT games are out of the question? :-(

Adventure games! (3, Interesting)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273130)

Almost any King's Quest ('cept the last 3d one... that sucked), any Monkey Island game, Grim Fandango, Sam & Max (well, I guess any LucasArts adv. game except for Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. Not so good). All teach puzzle-solving logic with a good sense of humo(u)r.

I second the Carmen Sandiego series as well as the 0ld Sk00l Oregon Trail. Mmmm, buffalo...

I recall a Sim-like game involving running a beer distributorship. Could prove interesting (except for the polka-influenced soundtrack. *shudder*)

Also, does X Pilot count as violent? You could bill it as A "gravitational physics/particle interaction simulator".

Then there's always SameGnome... *grin*

Re:Adventure games! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273199)

Why isn't this mod'ed up??

Look, I understand SimCity and stuff is non-violent, but is it something that would interest a Juvie? Think about it. "You don't know Jack" and the adventure games the parent suggest are something they actually might try to play.

"no violence" (2)

under_score (65824) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273131)

Does the no violence policy include abstracted violence? The Civilization series of games is great if the abstracted violence is okay. For pure non-violence, Railroad Tycoon II [] is great. I've played it quite a bit - the main downside is that it takes quite a while to get up to speed and it also takes quite a while to play a single game. Its main benefits for an educational setting include: history, geography, macro economics, and finance. It can also be multi-player over a network.

Non-violent? (1)

Mercuria (145621) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273134)

I guess xbill is completely out of the question...

Zoombinis (2)

superid (46543) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273137)

"The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis" is a great game! Several years old, from Broderbund I believe.

SNOOD! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273142)

Try out Snood! It has levels from very easy to maddening. It's addictive.

Cripple-ware trial available at

Rollercoaster Tycoon? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273143)

This seems appropriate, as it's rather easy, teaches economic values and risk-reward types of lessons, and requires only as much reading as you want to invest.

locus arts (1)

Rev. DeFiLEZ (203323) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273146)

manic manion 1 & 2
monkey island 1 2 3 (4?)

serious proplem solving (with think out side the box properties)

monkey 3 island that good, the "outside the box" got a little carried away for me.

violence is limited to insult sword fighting, shooting tenticles with shrink rays and other, (less the loony toons violence)

theres are entertaining and educational,

lets not forget that lemonade stand game!!

Sure they exist... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273147)

...but only if you want to be a fucking pussy faggot.

I remember back in the day (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273150)

We used to play Oregon Trail and Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Those were some fun games, not much violence, except when you got to go hunting on OT, that sure was fun. Anyone else spend all their money on ammo? Yeah I was a disturbed child for sure...

Breakout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273151)

About as nonviolent as they come, although the game's title might get you in trouble.

Sim City (1)

kbuckalo (411216) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273153)

Try Sim City [] .

The game gives you a budget, from which you build
a basic city by laying out traffic and utility grids, then "zoning" with commercial, redidential and industrial districts. You use income from taxes, fees, etc, to expand the city. Very good for showing budgeting, also, pretty good intro to city design.

Any adventure game (5, Informative)

dagashi (60865) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273155)

Monkey Island 2, 3 and 4 are all great games where you have to think quite a bit... and best of all, you get to laugh too.
Don't miss out on Grim Fandango either.
All above from LucasArts.

I also enjoyed playing the Qing's/Space/Heroe's Quest games (Sierra) alot.
The Dig(LucasArts) is also a great adventure game not to be forgotten!

They're all non-violence.

SimCity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273156)

There have been school contests in city design for ages 8-10 where the kids used SimCity as the design tool.
Rollercoaster Tycoon would probably be as much fun.

Crazy Taxi (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273157)

In general, most arcade games aren't any more violent than Lemmings.

In particular, I mention Crazy Taxi [] , because its non-violence is almost amusing. There are times when you accidentally drive the car off the road and you drop into oblivion, and your passenger's only comment is "turn right!", minus the expected screaming or flailing of hands.

The world of Telaus (1)

Tora (65882) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273161)

We are working on a VR mud world with that very preface in mind (non-violence). I have come up with a scheme where rewards are not through "experience"--which is often a direct result of violence--as in common muds; but through talismans given as rewards for various tasks such as quests, puzzles and the like. Unfortunately, this is an online world, so it may not meet your criteria. The world is Telaus []

Adventure Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273163)

Adventure games are always great learning experiences and a lot of fun. Mostly they're not violent either. Try games Like Simon the Sorcerer (official site:, The Monkey Island Series (fansite: and the Indiana Jones Series (review: tlantis.htm).

Two obvious games come to mind (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273164)

Tetris and MineSweeper. Both games can be played relying solely on luck, but players will see the benefit of planning their next move in short order. Mah-Jongg is also a good game, but kids might find it boring.

A Few Suggestions (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273168)

Any of the Sim games (SimCity, SimFarm, SimAnt, etc.) The Sims Civilization / Civilization II Alpha-Centauri

There are also computer versions of most board games and card games.

Of course, whether any of these titles are suitable depends on how violence is defined.

Be careful with some Simulation games... (1)

Phaser6047 (70775) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273170)

Some of the Sim games are great, but they can lead to some violent or destructive behavior. And in a Juvenile Detention type situation that can be a bad thing.

Take, for example, Sim City. Sure, these games are constructive, but they also have a destructive side. I used to work as a lab aid in my local library, and the children would take out games like the Sim series, just to be the 'benovlent god'. That type of behavior just seems unhealthy to me.

King of Dragon Pass (1)

doug (926) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273171)

I for one am hooked on it. How serious is your "no violence" restriction? In KoDP there is the "how many warriors do you send" choice and one of the fighting styles is "kill as many as possible", but it is most certainly not a FPS. You don't see any carnage. Mostly it is a "political growth" game where your can tries to form (and control) a tribe, and perhaps an entire kingdom. On top of this there is exploration, religion, trade, and so on. for the official blurb, and a review is at tml.

Non-violent game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273174)

How about Virtual Valerie?

Old Sierra Games (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273175)

They prob wont let you get away with Leisure Suit Larry but my other Fav's like the Space Quest series, the Kings Quest series, the Quest for Glory series and dont forget the Monkey Islands (LucasArts). They all are non-violent, all involve a lot of concentration and problem solving and can be really really funny at times.

But if litteracy is going to be a hurdle that you'll need to overcome you might want to take a walk through a public schools software library. I once saved $1000 in consultants fees doing that! :)

violence & games (1)

LordAlpha (247426) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273178)

jezzball, reversi, chess, checkers, civilization, all good, all clean. Perhaps boring for a lot of people.

Why not strategic games with network capability?

Form teams and make them work toghether.

LucasArts (1)

KingKire64 (321470) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273180)

Any of the old lucasarts adventure games had alot of problem solving. And you want to talk about entertiaing play the original 2 monkey islands. (Although im throughly convinved the writers of monkey island 2 where on some good LSD for that ending.)

Violence comes in all flavors... (1)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273187)

What constitutes "violence" is different for every person. Some might see Lemmings as a violent game because of the "suicide bombers." You intentionally set little blue and green guys to explode... that seems like violence with intent. And in SimCity you can be intentionally destructive; sending Godzilla through your own town is not the most peaceful thing. I believe someone mentioned the hunting "sim" in Oregon Trail. Nearly all games have some level of violence, whether it's jumping on little mushroom dudes' heads or blasting an alien with a chain gun.

Not that I think that's bad. Being destructive is an important part of creativity. If you're unwilling to part with your creations in a big bang, you need to learn to get over yourself. Part of being creative is striving to do something better.

So perhaps it's creativity that overpowers the violence contained in a game that you're asking for...

Ambrosia SW (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273189)

For those Mac-heads out there, Ambrosia Software has a wealth of great quality games that have minimum system requirements and contain little or no violence.

Oxyd (1)

basegmez (139142) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273190)

Oxyd is a very interesting puzzle solving game. If you search for Dongleware or Oxyd you should be able to find a downloadable a demo.

What are you trying to teach them? (1)

BillyGoatThree (324006) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273193)

If all you are trying to teach them is how to turn on a computer, move a mouse and double-click a "bag of holding" or whatever, keep doing what you are doing.

But if you want them to actually LEARN something, teach them to read. Then give them some books. Supplement and reward this learning with software. For instance, have a science lesson about simple machines (levers, pulleys, wheels, etc) THEN break out The Incredible Machine to demo it. And if Joe Icepick hasn't read his assignment yet, no Lemmings for him at Game Time.

TLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273196)

The best non-violent games are from TLC (The Learning Company). Not too dummied down, and not to complex. My favorite game is Treasure Mountain. It asks questions that develop color, number, and pattern matching.

Floigan Brothers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2273200)

Check out the Floigan Brothers on the Dreamcast. It is actually pretty cool.

There are Several (3, Informative)

cnladd (97597) | more than 13 years ago | (#2273201)

The "Where in the * is Carmen San Diego" series is one of the best. Another common one that I've seen used in several schools was "Oregon Trail". If literacy levels are a concern, you may want to try some of the several text adventures out there. There are several good ones that are made for younger people - and having to read and type may be a great help to boost those literacy levels.

The various "Sim" games are, of course, excellent. I'd recommend Sim Earth, as it was intended to be purely educational. Sim City is, of course, a good one. Finally, though it can be considered slightly violent, depending on how you look at it, Civilization II would be an excellent choice for a strategy game.
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