Exclusive footage, developer interviews, and announcements from 70+ indie games.
Wholesome Direct is an independent, volunteer-run showcase organized by Wholesome Games to spotlight uplifting and thoughtful indie games. Tune in for an hour of exclusive footage, new game reveals, developer interviews, and announcements from 75 wholesome titles.
Wholesome Games is a community that started on Twitter when indie game developer Matthew Taylor began curating games according to their feelings of comfort, compassion, and coziness. Since then, the community has grown to more than 200k members across Twitter, Discord, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
One of the goals of Wholesome Games is to change how we think about which games are taken seriously. For many years, the most critically acclaimed titles have been the ones with the darkest themes and grimmest depictions of life, but there's also a whole world of hopeful video games with rich storytelling, innovative gameplay, and beautiful art and sound. We want to be a part of showcasing the breadth of experiences that games can have for players.
That's up to you to decide! It's subjective and we don't want to pretend that it isn't. Something we've always tried to be mindful of is that what looks wholesome to one person might not look wholesome to someone else.
If a game is cute and cozy but contains harmful stereotypes, is it wholesome? We say no! If a game is violent, but that violence is about overthrowing an oppressor, is it unwholesome? We say no! The opinions presented by our curation are just that: one group's opinions.
The question of what makes a game wholesome is one that comes up again and again in our community, and while common themes sometimes emerge from those conversations, we think it devalues the discussion to suggest that there's ever going to be a comprehensive final answer.
Honestly, so do we sometimes! Toxic positivity is a real problem, and lots of words and ideas like "wholesome" (or "family values") have been warped into dog whistles and harmful purity tests, or used to dismiss serious concerns.
We want to make absolutely clear that our values are diametrically opposed to these uses, and we can only hope that's reflected in our work.
Not at all! "Wholesome Games" is not a synonym for "good games" and we believe every type of game can--and should--co-exist, including the scary and violent games that we don't curate. Every game fills a niche, and while our group focuses on highlighting games in one of those niches, we all play and love games that aren't part of the genre too.
We believe everything, especially the media we create and consume, is political. We actively avoid hateful content, bigotry, and developers who have been exploitative or otherwise abusive, and we encourage developers to use their voices to support worthy causes. Sometimes it's a radical act to make dark or upsetting art, and sometimes it's radical to make hopeful art in times of adversity.
Nope! We've volunteered our time to Wholesome Games just to help indie developers and bring attention to amazing games. In the case of any merchandise, the proceeds benefit charities and funds that we're passionate about, like AbleGamers and Galaxy Fund.
We're privileged to be able to do it for free, but we're also mindful of the fact that there are other ways we can help people inside and outside of our community with funding, so we take every offer seriously.
We've got them all archived in this YouTube playlist!
Absolutely! We even put together a little streaming kit with some assets to help theme your stream.