Sunday, October 19, 2008

World Without Oil - serious game for the public good

The power of gaming is huge. Imagine creating a virtual world without oil, and then letting people come in and see if they can work through the crisis. And this is something they can do for fun. Think about all the time your favorite computer game spends playing on his or her computer, and then think about how we can turn that into a force for good. (Game designers, pay attention!).
It was the world's first serious alternate reality game, a cooperative pre-imagining of a global oil crisis. Over 1900 players collaborated in May 2007 to chronicle the oil crisis with their own personal blog posts, videos, images and voicemails. The game ended after simulating the first 32 weeks of the oil shock, but its effects continue, as game designers analyze its unique gameplay and we all watch the continuing drama with global oil prices and supply.
The game won the Activism Award at South By Southwest. Here's some further reading:

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