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When reading about games I’ve come across some very peculiar things that may not entirely be called games, but which resemble them very closely. They also differ from games in interesting ways. What makes them non-games (or a-games) differs, but each example is interesting:

Passage seems to be a game of passing through a (randomly generated) maze, but really it is more a story of passing through life. You begin the journey as a young man and encounter a woman; if you touch her, you will begin walking together. If you walk with her, you will not be able to go everywhere - walking with her limits your choices. But at least you’re not walking alone. Passage is more of a work of art than a game (not that they are exclusive categories), worth the few minutes it takes to try it.

Lose/Lose is a game I haven’t had the courage to try. It is a Space Invaders-clone, with an interesting twist: there a consequences to your actions. The aliens won’t attack, but you are armed. Every time you do use your weapon, Lose/Lose deletes a file from your computer. (I say again, Lose/Lose deletes files from your computer. Don’t try it if you’re not absolutely sure you want that to happen.) You have the power to destroy the aliens, but ultimately you are the only one hurt by that violence. One might sense that there is a message intended.

Progress Quest boasts that it is “well worth the time you’ll spend playing it.” I agree. It is an interesting take to computer rpg’s. You create a character (from various, hilarious options) and then embark on quests that mostly consist of killing everything you encounter and selling their stuff as loot. Sounds familiar? What separates Progress Quest from other computer rpg’s is that after you’ve created your character, you are no longer needed. It plays itself, killing and looting away with no player input required (it is what they call a ‘zero-player game’). Grinding has never been this easy!