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Screen shot from the School 26 video game.

The stereotypical video-game addict is an adolescent boy who likes to blow things up, but the world of games is moving far beyond the first-person shooter. Here are some games with a different appeal.


The popular Facebook game invites players to dispel the Gloom and build a happy kingdom in a medieval setting. To do that, they must execute all sorts of practical tasks, such as constructing buildings, fetching water, and feeding animals – but may be distracted by magical occurrences. The game is made by Zynga, the San Francisco developer of several social games, including FarmVille and CityVille.

Dragon Age

Developed by BioWare in Edmonton, this dark, mythical role-playing game for consoles pits an order of Grey Wardens against an invasion of demonic creatures known as the Blight. Female players praise the great range of options when creating customized characters, as well as the strong female companions available to the player. The game allows for both gay and straight romances.

School 26

This casual game is intended for 12-to-16-year-old girls using mobile devices or PCs. The player is Kate, a new girl who has changed schools repeatedly. To stay at School 26, she must make friends and influence people through empathy, intuition and strategy, as she negotiates social hierarchies and moral dilemmas. The game is produced by Silicon Sisters in Vancouver.


The forthcoming PlayStation 3 game is from Thatgamecompany in Los Angeles, which also made Flow and Flower and is known for non-competitive games with stunning visuals. A robed player journeys through a desert and the ruins of an ancient civilization toward a mountaintop, choosing whether to help or be helped by other players online who cannot speak or text.