Games about grief and loss?

A design student has asked me to look at her game about grief and loss. Does anyone know of any games that deal with similar themes?

3 Likes

James Brown’s game Death’s Door

1 Like

Wraith the Oblivion although I can’t personally vouch

2 Likes

I will second Wraith: the Oblivion, though it’s more about grief and loss from the other side of things. It’s definitely an useful text for examining how those sorts of topics can be mechanized.

I’ve also published a game, No One Lives Here Anymore, about that topic, drawing from my own lived experiences.

2 Likes

http://www.tao-games.com/four-ways-to-die-in-the-future/

Island in a Sea of Solitude is definitely about grief and loss, and the other three are at the very least adjacent.

1 Like

Third for Wraith: The Oblivion. One of the key themes in the game is watching loss from the other side, as @Meinberg mentioned, but also in experiencing loss from your own point of view given that you often watch your loved ones move on or stop mourning you. From a mechanical standpoint, this is usually something you don’t want to happen (except in very specific circumstances).

Another Onyx Path/White Wolf game that might help is Orpheus, which had a short run prior to the move from cWoD to nWoD. It is about humans exploring the underworld, for which everyone has their own reasons, but can explore themes of grief.

Not sure if you’re going for a campaign model or a one-shot, but the Seven Wonders game “When the Dark is Gone” in my experience has been effective at exploring the feelings surrounding grief, depression, and loss.

I’ve never played it, but the Sad Mech Jam game Rider’s Last Rites is often mentioned as a game that explores grieving a friend or loved one.

1 Like

I’ve never played either of these games, but they seem perfect for their thoughtful and deep handling of grief and loss.

  • A Flower for Mara

  • Montsegur 1244

And one I have played:

  • Heaven’s Collapse
1 Like

Although grief and loss are not a central theme, they do come up in my game

  • A Cool and Lonely Courage

MASHED might possibly fit your bill, since grief and loss can be an important part of the game - and the reasons that the characters need to get a little wild to keep their sanity.

I’d like to point to 90 Minutes by Matteo Turini. It’s for telling stories about a child and a parent’s relationship, in the context of the parent’s suddenly approaching death. While the focus is on the things that happened between the two in the past, it’s all in the context of loss of a chance of reconciliation, understanding, or getting to say something.

Haven’t played it, but I’d definitely check out @SidneyIcarus’s Rider’s Last Rites.

EDIT: Oh, just realized I got scooped by @somasatori. At least I provided a link!

2 Likes

The Wait was part of Zine Quest and seems to hit that nail on the head!