Games About Global Issues and (More) Current Events (+ Serious Games)

Please note: These games have many political points of view expressed and stones ranging from the scientifically serious to the polemically politically satirical. Please make sure you, the teacher, play the games before using them for school.

Guide to Codes:

  • action =  action game
  • adventure = point-and-click adventure games.
  • cb-images = choice-based text with images
  • cb-text = choice-based text
  • city = city-builder, management
  • fps = first person shooter
  • fsim = flight simulator
  • management = management simulation
  • rpg = role playing game
  • rtgs = real-time grand strategy
  • rts = real-time strategy or tactics
  • tbs = turn-based strategy, not exclusively on warfare
  • thpa = third person action
  • war tb = wargame, turn-based
  • war rts = wargame, real time


Online (Free)

Environment, Energy, Eco-politics, and Sustainability

Online (Free)

Global Poverty – Hunger – Subsistence

Human Rights Oppression, Terrorism, War, (also see Refugees, and Immigration)

Natural and Biological Disasters

Online (Free)

Desktop ($$)

  • The Day the Earth Shook – An Earthquake preparedness game by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
  • Plague Incorporated


  • Extreme Event – A free, print-and-play disaster simulation role playing game for 12-48 players. Focuses on group decisions making and problem -solving in the face of disaster.

Politics and Law (US Mostly; Send me International Entries for Inclusion)

Online (Free)

Desktop ($$)

  • The Political Machine

Refugees, and Immigration

Online (Free)

Desktop ($$)

  • Four Horsemen
  • Papers Please
  • Refuge

State Surveillance, Oppression

Online (Free)

Desktop ($$)

  • Beholder
  • Orwell
  • Papers Please

Other Topics

Online (Free)

Desktop ($$)


  1. November 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the note — they should be fixed now

  1. May 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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