I’m a huge advocate of connecting the gaming world with agents of social change. That’s why I’m so happy to read about a new, open-source video game that combines the addictive elements of Sim City and Facebook’s notorious Farmville with visions of eco-friendly urban environments: PermaCities! The idea is really simple. Pick a scenario: Berkley, Davis, Fremont, Merced, Oakland, San Francisco. Next, pick a block and do something to it. Maybe add a bike lane, a solar panel factory, plant a garden or even… build a food co-op! The game is in its alpha stage right now, so feel free to peruse over to their site and try it out. Here’s what their blog says about the project:
Permacities came from the idea of creating social media games like FarmVille that instead of just wasting your money, actually taught you how to farm or kept you up to date with the movement.
A coworker of mine once commented on eco-utopian schemes and said, “Well, but what are they going to do about Los Angeles?” Permacities showcases things people are doing right now to upcycle existing environments into ecocities and ecovillages.
The game was formerly known as Ecocity Now. We’ve changed the name to avoid confusion with other games and also to bring attention to permaculture principles of small scale interventions, working with nature, and focusing on both human and ecological needs.
Be sure to like the PermaCities page over on Facebook, and if you are interested in helping out… join the development team! It is open source after all.