posted May 2, 2011, 6:10 PM by Emily So   [ updated May 2, 2011, 6:46 PM by Jen Mankoff ]


Chris Reid, Dan Lipson, Emily So, Freeson Wang

For our final project, we created a point-and-click adventure style video game based on children's educational games, satirizing the relationship between the ideals of environmentalism with how the corporate world seems to approach them. We built this off of Project 4, our Bump*Start game, which was meant to brainwash children into becoming environmental hazards. The final project, "The Adventures of Peter the Polar Bear," became  a game designed for adults as more of a narrative and commentary of what happens in the real world.

We first came up with an idea and storyline that we wanted to bring across to the audience. Then we storyboarded the parts the player would go through, the mechanics of the games, lists of assets and so on. The game was coded, and then assets that we created were integrated into the game, including voice-acting, sound effects and graphics.

As gameplay corresponding to the storyline, the minigames slowly progressed from being genuinely eco-friendly as a green scout, to unveiling the dark truth behind the green scouts. Though the narrative and events in the game are absurd, there is much truth behind the ideas, such as the irony between the large companies' desire for profit and their advertised "desire to be more eco-friendly." A specific example could be in the fabric shopping bags that are sold to replace plastic shopping bags. Though plastic is harmful to the environment when simply left out as trash after a few uses, the eco-tote bags take more resources to produce and many people buy them again and again. The only way to effectively be eco-friendly when dealing with these bags is to use the same one(s) for at least a year instead of ever using plastic bags or buying another tote bag.

There is much to explore in environmentalism (in this case, the irony between the ideals and how we deal with it), where education and awareness is crucial in order to approach it in the first place. Our approach was by making a video game which is one of the most effective ways of retaining people's attention in order for them to learn what we want to convey.