Teaching kids about the environment through game-play is nothing new, but in today's online gamer society, it's important to put the lesson-learning in the right format. Gamer kids now have something to play that makes sense both on and off the computer screen.
In a character-driven adventure game, Emerald Island is a virtual world where children are challenged to save the island from environmental destruction. Designed for kids ages 6 to 12, the game has an evolving plotline created by the kids in which environmental activism is the key ingredient.
Captain Blunderbore and the Pirats have decimated the environment of seven of the eight islands in the World of Viridis. Only Emerald Island remains. The nasty Pirats, however, are gathering their forces to stage a final assault and fulfill their mission of razing the land, pillaging its natural treasures and overthrowing Tamino, Emerald Island's elusive hero. As Emerald Island's only hope for survival, visitors are invited to team up with a diverse cast of characters to defend the still-lush island and its capital city of Bloomtown. To do so, they must explore their surroundings, don disguises to infiltrate the rodents' lair, and navigate increasingly challenging quests in which reward comes in the form of both currency and status. When not distracted by the Pirats, Emerald Island "Seedizens" turn their attention to their home plots, where they decorate their dwellings and transform dirt plots into vibrant gardens. They also drive Bloomtown's economy by selling crops and collecting items for trade.
Emerald Island sounds like a very good way to get this current generation of kids who prefer the indoors to care about nature and what is outside their windows. The kids have to be creative and work together to make the game work and save the environment, which pretty much reflects exactly what we TreeHugging adults do on a daily basis.
But one of the best parts is that the game is quite realistic when it comes to the environment. For instance, when players are tending their gardens, they learn about over 100 different plant species.
In addition, the game's creator, Fluid Entertainment, has partnered with Trees for the Future so that for each subscription received during November, Fluid Entertainment will donate 10 trees to the organization. So the kids are doing more than just learning eco-activist sensibilities while playing — they're actually contributing just a tiny bit to the real environment.
Pretty great way to green up gaming, though there is always more to do. Hopefully they can play a game about the electricity consumption required to play online games alongside their Emerald Island experience.
Via Press Release:
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