Eco-Conscious Video Game
In college I took a course called, "Concepts in Gaming." In the course we learned how to design games, how to get the player to do things without verbally stating (using sounds or signals), as well giving rewards as encouragement to keep playing. In short, the game mechanics were - "signal, choice, consequence, signal".
For our last assignment, we had to develop a game using game mechanisms as well as create a prototype under the following framework:
exclusionary - if player does not have prior knowledge of something, they will not be able to master the game
reality - could be relatable in real life
Scrambling my brain, I came up with the idea for a waste disposal game.
The game is based around sanitary plant by an elementary school. If the waste is not properly disposed then pollution will seep into the water system in the school and effect the children's health negatively in terms of deformities. There were 10 items given to each player upon starting and the player has to make the right decision by putting them into the correct bins. The items include food scraps, types of paper and different plastics. At the end of it, we check what was put in properly and depending on how many were distributed incorrectly, the children would be deformed. After three deformed children, the player loses the game.
There are three bins - garbage, plastics and paper. If you don't know dispose waste in proper bins, then you can't master the game fulfilling the "exclusionary" requirement. Secondly, separating waste is something we do or should do in reality.
The game was a lot of fun to develop and physically create the prototype.
The rude awakening for me is that myself and a lot of my classmates did not know how to dispose waste properly. There is a certain frustration of not knowing what can go where unless one does research on it beforehand.
In reality in other parts of the world they are having the same issue either having trouble disposing or not knowing how to and it is severely effecting health and quality of life.
Just because results of poor waste management aren't so blatantly in our face (a huge mountain of waste in public spaces), does not mean it is not effecting us negatively.
NYC Recycles has their own recycling game!
Here are some guides to learn how to recycle for NYC. Once you get the hang of it, it's really not so bad!