Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust. Brent Knepper/Courtesy of jsjoust.com hide caption

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Nathan Drake (foreground) is the lead protagonist of the Uncharted series of games for the Sony PS3. His character is just one in a long line of games where the dominant figure is a white male action hero. AP/Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. hide caption

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"I make a living attempting to beat video games on my show, and people watch," says Jayson Love, whose stage name is Man. Twitch.tv screengrab hide caption

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If you want to try the console gaming experience without the jaw-dropping cost, step back from the hype and consider older models. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Marcus Ingvarsson (right) tests out the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset Project Morpheus in a demo area at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco on Wednesday. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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In The Novelist, the Kaplans are struggling to keep their little family together. You play a ghost that tries to help keep the peace. The Novelist/Orthogonal Games hide caption

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Nidhogg is a fast-paced sword fighting game that pits two players in an intense, steel-on-steel battle of tug-of-war that harkens back to the old days of arcade battles. Messhof hide caption

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Desktop Dungeons is an easy-to-pick-up puzzle, strategy, single-player role-playing game. It can be difficult, but the ease of repeat play and deep strategic elements will keep you coming back. QCF Design hide caption

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A screenshot of Half the Sky, where virtual successes sometimes lead to real-life donations. Games For Change hide caption

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Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch. Twitch.TV screenshot hide caption

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A screenshot of the iPad game If, which aims to teach kids how to navigate interpersonal challenges and failures. NPR hide caption

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