An educational simulation game called Eco has become very popular on Kickstarter; being already fully funded. While the game is set up to be enjoyable and fun, it shows the struggles of keeping a healthy ecosystem alive, and how tipping the scales ever so slightly can drastically change the outcome.
The game could be considered a social experiment at large where as a group players must come up with laws, rules, and guidelines to keep the ecosystem alive. Finding the right balance between technologically advancing and saving the planet is the goal of game. A Plague of Humans on your Planet
While an ecosystem of animals and plants can thrive fine just by themselves, when adding humans into the mix the subjects of pollution, extinction, and disforesting become huge issues. The game Eco displays an accurate simulation of what happens when humans take resources from the planet, which differs from other simulation games where the environment isn’t an important factor. By giving the players meaningful actions, animals can become extinct, habitats ruined, and even food supplies can diminish to where even humans are extinct; leading to a “server-wide perma-death”.
Eco will depend solely upon a player run government, where laws will be made and players must abide by them.
Working as a group; government, cities, and economy
By incorporating a voting system to enact laws, players will be bound to the laws on the server, keeping them from acting out. Since this is a simulated government, all ecosystem information on the server is available to every player so valid arguments against laws and for them can be made.
Worlds within Eco are made with a Minecraft style Voxel set-up, where mining and building is done, but the environment and ecosystems will be affected from the buildings constructed and resources taken. With buildings being built, different buffs will happen to players such as lower food depletion and knowledge. The gamers must work together putting their different skills at use to build cities that are for the greater good.A last intricate player-run feature within the game is the economy, which gives players a chance to sell and buy goods of their choice and specialty. Keeping with this good mentality, the game also offers ‘contracts’ for jobs, which are enforced within the game to keep everything running smoothly.Technology, Skills, and End-Game
The way technology works within Eco is by doing experiments in special settings where players must give in order to advance. Using technology as a form of power previously seen in Sid Meiers: Civilization, technology can influence the ecosystem and world, with what can be built and ultimately destroyed. Personally I can’t wait to buy Eco on Steam. It hits my favorite form of gaming with management, teamwork, and simulation; along with a real problem we face in the world today.
Do you think Eco will be a big hit on Steam? Could this simulation game help educate students on environmentally friendly actions? Share your opinions below with what you think.