Environmental Gaming?

Lately I've been playing a game called ECO by Strange Loop Games, with the ludology of the gameplay catching my eye. Essentially working like a sandbox, with a similar gameplay mechanic like Minecraft, there's actually a really unique dynamic in its overall goal: A living, realistic environment. See as I played the game, the environment constantly changes. Essentially how it works is that:

"Eco is a survival game in a global sense, where it is not just the individual or group who is threatened, but the world itself. The world of Eco will be home to a population of thousands of simulated plants and animals, each living out their lives on a server running 24 hours a day, growing, feeding and reproducing, with their existence highly dependent on other species. 
Besides the threat of destroying the ecosystem of the world through pollution and habitat destruction, the world of Eco is threatened with another catastrophe, set via options at server creation. A meteor may be striking the earth, with the groups only chance of survival to develop technology to prevent it. Or a drought may be imminent, and food and water must be conserved in anticipation. Global warming may be raising the sea levels, and players will have to adapt. In Eco, the threats to the world’s existence are not only internal (player destruction of the ecosystem) but external as well, giving players an additional incentive." – ECO Wiki, 2016

An example I found from the game is that it uses in-game sourced data which the player base produce is used to predict probability and determine a deterrent or a solution for the issue through the design of technology. As you increase in technological understanding, your experience in the game changes, and the end game ultimately is dependent on your reaction time, technologies and co-operation with your neighbours. I had in one game experienced the meteor strike it spoke of, and because my little band of friends and I couldn't seem to agree with our neighbours on what to focus on, we all died in the game. I definitely would recommend this game for anyone looking into realistic game mechanics, and gamification because the game helps people understand better ways of either supporting, using or destroying the environment, and probably with this game we could develop new ways of defending against environmental catastrophe! If you'd like to learn more about the game, head over to Strange Loop Games site for more info!

#environment #gaming #gamification