Non-game games (aka console software, homebrew apps or 'edutainment')

I’m not sure if I’m the only one or if there are others like me on the board, but I’ve always been a huge fan of using video game consoles for non-gaming purposes; not just in terms of loading homebrew applications, but often with commercially available titles. Everything ranging from music creation apps, painting programs and even light programming environments designed for specific consoles has always fascinated me, especially considering the idea that some of these are extremely portable… and I’ve never really been much of a gamer, yet fascinated by technology all the time.

Homebrew itself is legal as well, so I figured lumping them all together would make for an interesting thread if there were more of us on here who do the same. Does anyone else on here play non-game ‘games’?

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You would probably dig a couple of the youtube channels that I follow about these things. I mostly follow them to keep up to date on retro gaming and emulators, but they are always looking at homebrew and such as well.

Modern vintage gamer is I think an ex-hacker that helped get the homebrew scene up and running back on the original Xbox, and he still does guides for the newer consoles too. His vids are great if you have, say, a spare Wii laying around and you want to know what you could do with it - there’s a video about exactly that. Or the same goes for most other consoles really.

The other one I like is Retro RGB (who also has a website). He’s a bit more about hardware and trying to get the best video signals possible out of old consoles, but he does cover some of the software happenings as well, and he does a news roundup every week that’s 30 minutes to an hour long, just covering all the major news in the retro tech world - whether that’s a new console mod, a new software/emulator update, a hot new website, whatever it may be. I love to put them on the day they come out in the background while I work, like a podcast or something. You could also just check the website and youtube channel every day to see what they’re working on, but that gets covered in the roundup too. This team is really good and they deserve way more attention than they get IMO.

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Since my last console was the SNES, the only console experience I have with this is Mario Paint :wink:

But seriously, I think Flowscape kinda fits in here. It’s a game on Steam in which you can build environments like in a 3D program or game egine, but it’s all really nice, fast and extremely relaxing, kinda like painting a bit with nice brushes. It’s like a hybrid between a 3D program or game engine, a painting app and watching relaxing nature footage…


You might dig Dreams, the PS4 game that sounds like it does a pretty similar thing. Also, LittleBigPlanet is pretty cool in that the whole game is made in the level editor that is included with the game. You can share your levels online with other players (think Super Mario Maker about 10 years before it actually happened) and there are some real gems out there. I have LBP from way back when on the PS3, still a great game to pull out when friends come over.

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Thanks man, that sounds cool! I have switched mostly to game engines for environment building and similar stuff. But another cool program in that regard is Twinmotion made by Epic Games, highly optimized for imports and everything, but less playful. It was free a while ago but think they want money now - it’s originally aimed at architectural visualization, but really nice and playful, nearly as relaxing as Flowscape. Lol I just checked and it’s over 500 bucks now, sorry for mentioning it here but glad I got if for free lol - but Flowscape is like 10 bucks or something like that for anyone interested…