In what has been called the decade of games, in an era when Jane McGonigal is a thought leader, developers are rushing to find ways to gamify education and social problems.
Wikipedia defines gamification as "as the integration of game mechanics or game dynamics into a website, service, community, campaign, or application in order to drive participation and engagement."
There's a new game at Facebook called Trash Tycoon that gamifies trash and recycling. It combines most of my key hot buttons – technology, education, and environmental responsibility – into a game. It's made by social gaming startup Guerillapps and sponsored by upcycling company TerraCycle.
In describing the game at Tree Hugger, the Trash Tycoon team wrote,
Trash Tycoon is based around upcycling a variety of collectible trash resources into new productions and decorations, all in the name of restoring your city. The player starts out in a desolate, waste-dump of a town. Over time they can clean and upgrade buildings, collect trash, and recycle it into various products in order to complete goals and increase the greenness level of their city. You can also cooperate with others to achieve these goals more efficiently!
Players can help clean up other players cities, speed up the production of upcycled goods, and even chat and interact in real time. We also have programs with groups like CarbonFund.orgso that every-time you purchase anything in the game, 10% gets donated to the carbon offset project of your choice!
According to Earth 911, the game offers players a chance to make a real environmental impact. There are the already mentioned carbon offsets, but also,
Trash Tycoon will award special bonuses and gifts to players who upcycle in real life by participating in a TerraCycle Brigade.
At scribbal, they suggest you give the game a try and link to the Facebook app.
The fact that actions you carry out in real life, particularly actions that will help create a sustainable future for the planet, will have an in-game impact makes this a game worth checking out. Incentivizing players to participate in TerraCycle’s recycling programs by offering in-game rewards could help boost recycling levels and increase awareness of sustainability environmental issues.
You can check out “Trash Tycoon” for yourself by installing the game on Facebook.
I'm interested in any game that holds the potential to educate and create social good while giving players incentives and rewards for playing along, learning, and doing good. I hope this game will be a success. Do you plan to play?
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