One of my favourite digital pastimes is organizing complex systems. Growing up, I have always been a big fan of interactive media with this feature. RTS games such as Age of Empires and Age of Mythology had this. Both of these had a strong focus on war and combat between factions, city-building was an afterthought (much to my dismay).
One of the ideas that was toyed with during the break was an extension on Aplexcity. There was the idea of having a city building game where in order to expand, players are required to extract resources from the landscape around them, slowly polluting and destroying the environment.
This concept was nice and there was the potential for deep meaning in such a game. It would correspond with what is happening in the world, with plastic filling the oceans and e-waste piling up in landfills and settlements around the globe… This is exactly why it’s not a good idea. There is already enough suffering, chaos, destruction, and decay in the world. People do not want to experience more of this!
The idea transformed into the challenge of reducing these negative factors in order to create an interactive experience that is constructive, collaborative, creative and challenging. In order to support the development of critical thought and problem-solving skills. People who play, can relax, refresh and unwind. Prepared and ready, to tackle the large pressing problems of the world.