Green Gaming: Games That Improve Environmental Awareness

Regardless of what video games you have played, almost all of them have had some inclusion of being immersed in a world. As technology has advanced, the way designers can portray a foreign world or our own Earth is pretty impressive.

So there’s little doubt that in some way an environment has always been present but remarkably there are not many titles from the golden age of gaming that focus on the importance of the environment and how it may be changed – for better or worse.

A new crop of current day designers have helped break into a new look upon environmental awareness either through subconscious or suggestive elements. One such title is called “From Dust” where you play as an omnipresent being. The game leaves in you in charge of quite literally shaping the world and helping to protect villagers who are at the mercy of natural disasters.

As you spend your time moving land and water, your decisions have a very real impact on natural tendencies. Pooling too much water for the lands inhabitants may cause vast deserts and droughts elsewhere which can pose a problem should the people need to migrate.

While the setting of the game is rural and void of all technology the player can experience a little bit of how delicate a world can be and how subtle changes can have a lasting effect.

Looking further a game known as “Eufloria” gives own unique take by developing life. Eufloria plays much like a RTS-real time strategy but instead of commanding troops, you are in charge of seeds. Using these seeds as a replacement to the classical troop and currency model, you employ them by springing trees to life on planet like objects.

While the gameplay is very simplistic, the art and the purpose of the game is pretty clear: to create and nurture. While there are other games that will connect with players on a deeper level, this is a title that anyone can still enjoy and gets an ambient message across in its gameplay.

There is but one title that really drives the green motive home, “Flower“. In Flower, the player controls the wind blowing a flower petal through the landscape. Along the way you will pick up other petals that follow. As the petals cross the land, it becomes colorful and full of life by transforming drab and colorless areas into vibrant expanses.

The gameplay is also extremely simplistic, but the purpose of the title was to evoke positive emotion among players. You’ll find that Flower does that very well and words can’t quite give the game the justice it has earned.

These are but a few titles that have swung in the direction of an environmental message. While that message isn’t the whole user-end experience, it’s easy to argue that titles like these help us think about what we’re experiencing visually. On the opposite side of the token, games like Fallout let us visualize a world with devastating effect.

On some level both the detail of nature and destruction sink in. As for positive reinforcement titles like these, the future has more in store and perhaps with more engaging gameplay. Thankfully, what we have currently is something that absolutely anyone can enjoy.

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Photo credit: My Blog Guest community

Photo credit: My Blog Guest community

Joe Myers – a long time gamer in his free time shares personal experiences and outlook on gaming, firefighting, and fitness. Currently Joe is the administrator of the blog, updating his blog with the latest game-related news and more.