Real & Virtual Worlds — Concepting Week #2

Real & Virtual Worlds — Concepting Week #2

For this week, I tasked myself with exploring similar existing games within the market that tackled the topic of Climate Change. However, I quickly discovered that there is a severe lack of games designed for children that accomplish this. The closest example I could find were the HTML5 games embedded on Nasa’s website as shown here: https://climatekids.nasa.gov/menu/play/

Despite these being designed with children in mind and using Unity engine, these are poorly made. In particular, the “Go With the Flow: An Ocean Currents” game, in my opinion, features too many mechanics and rules for a young child to be able to interact and engage with the content correctly.

NASA Climate Change game examples

Even within example 2, “Coral Bleaching”, despite the controls being more simply such as the ability to add or reduce the amount of water pollution and to raise or lower the temperature, the descriptive text that accompanies it features long words and is too long for a child’s short attention span; requires an adult’s assistance.

I found a good example on the BBC’s website called “Plastic Plant: Marine Rescue” which can be found at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/plastic-planet-marine-rescue-game. It features a brightly coloured design and UI which a simple objective to rescue the whales by matching the type of coloured trash to the groups on screen to clear the obstacles. It is fun and addictive and I can easily see how this type of experience appeals to children of all ages. I especially like how the game provides interesting facts at the beginning, although this has the potential to be improved upon by adding additional snippets of information between levels.

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