Game Developer Critical Gameplay is looking to improve the image of video games while helping sick children around the world. Their game, Big Huggin’ requires hugs to win. Players hug a giant 30 inch teddy bear controller to help the bear on screen past his obstacles.
The game started as an internationally exhibited art project by Miami University professor Lindsay Grace. The game has had young and old players in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Paris and other cities. As part of Critical Gameplay’s aim it was originally designed to help everyone understand the positive potential of video games. The creator of the game asks-why practice shooting toy guns at countless enemies when children could practice something far more natural-a hug?
The idea to offer the game or free to children's hospitals came in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. As many people are turning to video games to ask questions about violence, Grace wants to demonstrate the positive potential of modern games. He plans to make more bears, and provide the bear controllers to children free of charge. The bear controller is a simple patent in process design that plugs into any computer via a USB.
In the video game a bear must traverse a 2D world of flowers, mountains, holes, snow, rocks and fire. The game has received praise for its novelty and sentiment from art reviewers and players. This is the 9th game in the collection, which aims to be critical of conventional video games by offering alternative ways to play.
The project to build more bears for donation was recently launched on Kickstarter with a very modest financial goal of $2500. Donations can be made at http://www.kickstarter.com/
More information about the game can be found at CriticalGameplay.com and CriticalGameplay.com/
Video at http://www.youtube.com/