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Reading Games

ReadingGames.jpg... as in "we are reading games," not as if a series of gamified reading sessions – is a book club for video games instead of books!

The club meets on a monthly basis, to talk about selected games, from an interdisciplinary perspective, including Cultural Studies and literary approaches. In order to join, you don't have to have any level of knowledge about video games, or define yourself as a "gamer." That term is becoming as meaningful as a term like "movie-goer" in today's world, where digital games are everywhere as cultural products. Please come prepared, i.e. play the game, and/or watch a video of someone else who is playing it for you.


For more information or questions on how to access the Discord server, please contact

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Upcoming Sessions – Summer 2023

Wednesdays | 8–9.30 pm | Discord



Wednesday, June 14 | Dredge (2023)

DREDGE is a single-player fishing adventure with a sinister undercurrent. Sell your catch, upgrade your boat, and dredge the depths for long-buried secrets. Explore a mysterious archipelago and discover why some things are best left forgotten.


Wednesday, July 12 | Last of Us: Part I (2022) & the game's TV adaptation (2023)
[Let's Play Session]

Join us for this special session in which we first take a quick look into the 2022 remake of the Last of Us video game (via let’s play live-stream) and then discuss the game’s 2023 TV adaptation. Participants do not need to play the game in advance but should watch the first season of the show. The discussion is not planned to be spoiler-free.


Wednesday, August 9 | Season: A Letter to the Future (2023)

In SEASON: A Letter to the Future, you play as a young woman from a secluded village exploring the world by bike for the first time, collecting memories before a cataclysm washes everything away. SEASON is a quest to discover a new world; one unknown yet familiar. Document, photograph, and record life as you find it, while you still can.


Wednesday, September 13 | Outer Wilds (2019)

Winner of Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards and named Game of the Year 2019 by Giant Bomb, Polygon, Eurogamer, and The Guardian, Outer Wilds is a critically-acclaimed and award-winning open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop.

Gerald Farca - Playing Dystopia: Nightmarish Worlds in Video Games and the Player's Aesthetic Response (2018)

Selected reading: This book is recommended to participants who want to engage with the selected games on a more critical level. The text will be referred to in the discussions, but reading it is optional.

The book is available via the University of Freiburg library.


Past Sessions


N A T U R E / R E B I R T H

Lost Ember

Lost Ember (2019) | 2.2023

Explore the remains of a fallen world from fascinating perspectives! Slip into the role of different animals to uncover the fate of an ancient world. Dive into deep waters, fly at lofty heights, dig underground as a mole or even climb steep cliffs with a mountain goat, there are lots of ways of getting around.



Sky: Children of the Light (2019) | 3.2023
[Multiplayer Session]

Hold hands and take flight in an unforgettable social adventure together with loved ones. Explore the seven realms of this beautifully-animated kingdom with other players where compassion, community and wonder greet you at each turn. Create enriching memories as you solve mysteries, make friends, and help others along the way.



Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (2020) | 4.2023

Even the smallest person can make a big difference. Join Alba, as she sets out to save her beautiful island and its wildlife. And possibly start a revolution.



Lake (2021) | 5.2023

It's 1986 - Meredith Weiss takes a break from her career in the big city to deliver mail in her hometown. How will she experience two weeks in beautiful Providence Oaks, with its iconic lake and quirky community? And what will she do next? It's up to you.



Strange Horticulture (2022) | 10.2022

Strange Horticulture is an occult puzzle game in which you play as the proprietor of a local plant store. Find and identify new plants, pet your cat, speak to a coven, or join a cult. Use your collection of powerful plants to influence the story and unravel Undermere’s dark mysteries.

Black Book (2020) | 11.2022

Explore a world of authentic slavic folklore as a young witch. Outwit the devilish forces and open all the seals on the Black Book. The game is set in late XIXth century Perm District, north of Cherdyn. This is an RPG with deckbuilding elements featuring a narrative inspired by folklore demon stories.

Wytchwood (2020) | 12.2022

Wytchwood is a crafting adventure game set in an expressive land of gothic fables and fairytales. As the mysterious old witch of the woods, you will explore a strange countryside, collect magical ingredients, brew sorcerous enchantments, and pass your twisted judgement upon a capricious cast of characters and creatures.

Potion Craft (2021) | 01.2023
[Let's play session]

In this special session, we will have a look at two recently published games, Potion Craft and Little Witch in the Woods. The games will be live streamed on Discord during the meeting. You don't need to purchase and play these games in advance of this meeting.




Spiritfarer (2020) | 6.2022

Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying. As ferrymaster to the deceased, build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends, and release them into the afterlife.

Overboard! Get Away with Murder

Overboard! (2021) | 7.2022

Get away with murder! A highly replayable detective game where you're the one whodunnit.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn (2018) | 8.2022

A puzzle-adventure game about a ghost ship and determining the fates of its sixty crewmembers that did not return.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves (2018) | 9.2022
[Let's play session]

Join us aboard the pirate ships on this special session either by purchasing a copy of the multiplayer game, Sea of Thieves, and playing it with the rest of us or by watching our live-stream on Discord.



Note: All games chosen for these sessions deal with the topics of death and loss. The first two sessions’ games include horror elements. Please make sure to check trigger/content warnings for all titles before you decide to play them.

Red Candle Games | Detention

Detention (2017) | 2.2022

Detention is an atmospheric horror game set in 1960s Taiwan under martial law. Incorporating religious elements based on Taiwanese/Chinese culture and mythology, the game provided players with unique graphics and gaming experiences.

Kinetic Games | Phasmophobia

Phasmophobia (2020) | 3.2022
[Let's play session]

Phasmophobia is a 4 player online co-op psychological horror/investigation game. You can join this session either by watching our livestream on Discord, or by joining a group of up to three other players to play the game. You don’t need to play the game in advance.

Night School Studio | Oxenfree

Oxenfree (2016) | 4.2022

Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. You are Alex, and you’ve just brought your new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight island party gone horribly wrong.

Annapurna Interactive | I Am Dead

I Am Dead (2020) | 5.2022

A puzzle-adventure game about exploring the afterlife. Morris Lupton is the recently-deceased museum curator of the tiny island of Shelmerston who is reunited with the ghost of his dog Sparky, only to discover that a disaster is about to destroy his beloved island.

V I S U A L  N O V E L

Butterfly Soup (2017) | 1.2022

»An interactive coming-of-age story about four queer Asian-American girls, their baseball club, and relationships.«

Coffee Talk (2020) | 12.2021

»A game about listening to people’s problems and helping them by serving a warm drink out of the ingredients you have. It is a game that tries to depict our lives as humanly as possible while having a cast that is more than just humans. Immerse yourself in the stories of alternative Seattle inhabitants, from the dramatic love story between an elf and a succubus, an alien journey trying to understand human’s life, and many other stories that we might be able to relate a lot with.«

Doki Doki Literature Club! (2017) | 11.2021

»Welcome to a terrifying world of poetry and romance! Write poems for your crush and erase any mistakes along the way to ensure your perfect ending. Now’s your chance to discover why DDLC is one of the most beloved psychological horror games of the decade!«

Necrobarista (2020) | 10.2021

»Inspired equally by film and anime, Necrobarista is a unique take on the visual novel medium. Follow a dynamic and diverse cast of characters as they navigate Melbourne's hipstery coffee culture, the questionable ethics of necromancy, and the process of letting go.«

A R T I F I C I A L  I N T E L L I G E N C E

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013) | 8.2021
»Raiden is a cyborg armed with a high-frequency blade, powerful enough to cut giant unmanned combat gears in two with a single slice. He is contracted for VIP protection, military training and other duties by PMSCs (Private Military and Security Companies) in a developing country, until he finds himself face to face with a mysterious force commanding a multitude of cyborgs like him ... See the beloved Metal Gear universe from a new vantage point that only PlatinumGames can provide! This time, there's nowhere to hide.«

In Other Waters (2020) | 7.2021
»A unique narrative exploration game, where you guide and aid a xenobiologist in studying and exploring an alien ocean.«

The Talos Principle (2014) | 6.2021
»A philosophical first-person puzzle game woven into a metaphysical parable about intelligence and meaning in a doomed world. As if awakening from a deep sleep, you find yourself in a strange, contradictory world of ancient ruins and advanced technology. Tasked by your creator with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles, you must decide whether to have faith, or to ask the difficult questions: Who are you? What is your purpose? And what are you going to do about it?«

Tacoma (2017) | 5.2021
»A sci-fi narrative adventure from the creators of Gone Home. Set aboard a high-tech space station in the year 2088, explore every detail of how the station's crew lived and worked, finding the clues that add up to a gripping story of trust, fear, and resolve in the face of disaster.«


Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (2018) | 4.2021
»A Narrative-Adventure game about traveling, sharing stories, and surviving manifest destiny.«

A Short Hike (2021) | 3.2021
»Hike, climb, and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. Follow the marked trails or explore the backcountry as you make your way to the summit. Along the way, meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures, and take in the world around you.«

Night in the Woods (2017) | 2.2021
»College dropout Mae Borowski returns home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs seeking to resume her aimless former life and reconnect with the friends she left behind. But things aren't the same. Home seems different now and her friends have grown and changed. Leaves are falling and the wind is growing colder. Strange things are happening as the light fades. And there's something in the woods... An adventure game focused on exploration, story, and character, featuring dozens of characters to meet and lots to do across a lush, vibrant world.«

O F F I C E - C O R E

Hypnospace Outlaw (2019) | 1.2021
»The year is 1999. Sleeptime Computing, a new technology allowing users to browse the internet while they sleep, has captured the world's imagination. Hypnospace is the first and most popular Sleeptime service, and they've accepted your application to serve as an Enforcer. As the uncertainties of a new millenium consume the bustling digital metropolis, will you use your new post to help your fellow Hypnospace Citizens or slam them with violations to amass a HypnoCoin fortune?«

Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You (2016) | 12.2020
»Big Brother has arrived – and it's you. Investigate the lives of citizens to find those responsible for a series of terror attacks. Information from the internet, personal communications and private files are all accessible to you. But, be warned, the information you supply will have consequences...«

Her Story (2015) | 9/10.2020
»A woman is interviewed seven times by the police. Search the video database and explore hundreds of authentic clips to discover her story in this groundbreaking and award winning narrative game.«


Loved (2010) | 8.2020

Steam: Little Misfortune

Little Misfortune (2019) | 7.2020
»Led by her new friend, Mr. Voice, Misfortune ventures into the woods, where mysteries are unraveled and a little bad luck unfolds.«

The Stanley Parable (2011) | 6.2020
»A first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end. Contradiction follows contradiction, the rules of how games should work are broken, then broken again. This world was not made for you to understand. But as you explore, slowly, meaning begins to arise, the paradoxes might start to make sense, perhaps you are powerful after all.«

[ F O U N D ]  F A M I L Y

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons (2013) | 5.2020
»Guide two brothers on an epic fairy tale journey from visionary Swedish film director, Josef Fares and top-tier developer Starbreeze Studios. Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before.«

Pyre (2017) | 4.2020
»A party-based RPG in which you lead a band of exiles to freedom through an ancient competition spread across a vast, mystical purgatory.«

What Remains of Edith Finch (2017) | 2.2020
»A collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington State. Each story offers a chance to experience the life of a different family member with stories ranging from the early 1900s to the present day. The gameplay and tone of the stories are as varied as the family members themselves. The only constants are that each is played from a first-person perspective and that each story ends with that family member's death. It's a game about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us. You'll follow Edith Finch as she explores the history of her family and tries to figure out why she's the last Finch left alive.«


Gris (2018) | 1.2020
»Gris is a hopeful young girl lost in her own world, dealing with a painful experience in her life. Her journey through sorrow is manifested in her dress, which grants new abilities to better navigate her faded reality. As the story unfolds, Gris will grow emotionally and see her world in a different way, revealing new paths to explore using her new abilities.«

Max Payne (2001) | 12.2019
»Max Payne is a man with nothing to lose in the violent, cold, urban night. A fugitive undercover cop framed for murder, and now hunted by cops and the mob. Max is a man with his back against the wall, fighting a battle he cannot hope to win. Prepare for a new breed of deep action game. Prepare for pain... Max Payne is a relentless story-driven game about a man on the edge, fighting for his justice while uncovering plot twists and twisted thugs in the gritty bowels of New York during the century's worst blizzard.«

Firewatch (2016) | 11.2019
»A mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.«

M I S C .

When Rivers Were Trails (2019) | 3.2020
»Winner of the Adaptation Award at IndieCade 2019; a 2D point-and-click adventure game about the impact of colonization on Indigenous communities in the 1890's.«

Your clubs Reading Games & Indigenous Reads came together for a special session on a brand new Anishinaabe video game to debate this original take on the classic '80s game The Oregon Trail.

Florence (2018) | 6.2019
»The story of a young woman's very first love. A heartfelt experience that lasts around 30 minutes. It's short, but deeply meaningful. At 25, Florence Yeoh feels a little stuck. Her life is an endless routine of work, sleep, and spending too much time on social media. Then one day, she meets a cello player named Krish who changes everything about how she sees the world.«