Eco-gaming: five environment-focused videogames
In any form of entertainment, having a preachy rhetoric can destroy the fun as swiftly as Nineties consoles destroyed the sustainability of the gaming sector, but five games have managed to put the message across without a hint of sermonising. All over the world, gamers are uniting against eco-baddies through their game environments – and having fun while they do. If Ovo Energy was a games developer, these are the kind of video games it would produce. Okabu – Teaser Trailer
Okabu There are gamers and there are game players. Okabu was developed for game players – families and children who are happy to while away an hour on gameplay but not to camp out beside their consoles for an entire, sleepless holiday. Its developers were inspired by a documentary about Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and have crafted a colourful world of eco-loving cloudwhales who must solve puzzles in order to destroy the toxic waste-producing rival Doza clan.
Flower If games had human subcultures, Flower would be a hippy poet, dragging its fingers through the daisies while telling esoteric tales of wonder. The game takes you into the dreams of a blossom, letting you hover on top of a breeze composing musical notes with passing petals. Like a lucid dreamer, you have the power to influence what you see by gathering petals and coaxing them along the wind and, as you do, the game coaxes you into multisensory euphoria. In short, Sony’s Flower is akin to a haiku with the implicit epiphany that man and nature can coexist. Groovy, man.
Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssee, Eco-Fighters Abe was a klutzy green underdog who worked at a pollution-belching corporation at the height of the Nineties gaming boom. Unlike most games of the time, the Oddworld franchise was forward-thinking enough to retain its relevance years into the future. Even today, gamers are venturing into the odd world of Oddworld. Abe ventures out of his comfort zone as a janitor to rescue his fellow Mudokons, escape his boss’s species-killing habits, and become one with Mother Nature. Through puzzles, storytelling, and sneaking, Eco-Fighters lets gamers wreak havoc on corporate polluters–and have a laugh while they do.
Energy City Energy City is a world simulation game that delves deep beneath the surface of its message, forcing its players to think consciously about the world around them. Players are tipped off about sophisticated elements of the eco-wars from a scientific, evidence-based angle. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, you’ve probably never played Sim City. This is a genre that thrives on complexity and authenticity, especially when the citizens of your city are as easily satisfied as Gordon Ramsay. Energy City crowns you mayor and gives you freedom to power your city with as much budget-friendly coal as you wish (at a price). To earn your citizens’ cooperation, you must lay out bike paths, consider clean energy alternatives, and develop biofuel power plants that sustain your city 20 years into the future, even when immediate consequences aren’t apparent.
Fate of the World T.S. Elliott may have said that the world would end ‘not with a bang but a whisper’, but Fate of the World disagrees. The global simulator plunges you into the midst of a global crisis that is far from silent: tsunamis, fires, flooded continents, and civil war have all been clamped together into a single, epic present, and you’re tasked with redemption. The game, developed according to scientific research of an Oxford professor, has won acclaim as a courageous, award winning foray into serious, yet world-class, entertainment.
Commissioned by Ovo Energy – the cheaper, greener and simpler energy supplier