New digital and green take on Monopoly called the “Landscape Game” is now available in a fully functioning beta version. It makes players think, act, plan and develop eco-strategies and purchases by finding balance between ecological and economic trade-offs.
The world of gaming is a slightly mysterious, often considered highly controversial one, and at at the same time so incredibly overpopulated with people, who simply get lost in it for many consecutive hours. For all these reasons, gaming can be just as destructive to the human mind as it can be beneficial, and that latter one is exactly what the makers of the ultimate green Landscape game are trying to explore.
The game is very cool, and resembles very much the famous game Monopoly played by millions all over the world. It takes place in a landscape very similar to the great forests in Indonesia, where you can purchase forests, coal mines, rubber plantations, just like in the famous game. From here on, however, you decide for yourself how to proceed. Options include cutting the forest for palm oil production, build a tourist hostel, build a farm, etc etc.
Another huge improvement here is the time component. Unlike Monopoly, where the revenue is made the moment you make a purchase, here you might not see the return of the profit for many years (expressed in number of turns). It makes perfect sense, if you think about it, starting a plantation and bringing it to a point to which it brings income is not something that happens immediately.
The players have to consider carbon emissions, conservation of biodiversity, all being considerations that should be taken by real-life managers and planners, but are not commonly seen in games. The game teaches you about sustainability and how to make strategic planning that might not bring you a large sum at once, but will take you to the final on a white horse.
The game is a lot more than only being purely recreational. According to the creator and developer, Herry Purnomo, from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and professor at Bogor Agriculture University in Indonesia, who initially made it in a board game format, the main purpose of it is to serve as a learning tool. There is a wide range of users/players, who can take part in the strategic game, including people in academia, policy makers, the general public, all in all, everyone who is interested in environmental planning, strategies and conservation.
You can give the beta version a try online following this link. You can also watch a demo video here. As it is with every beta version, the makers are very keen to hear from you and read your feedback.
I can assure you, it is nothing like a typical educational game, which often bores you a lot more than entertains and teaches. On the contrary, make sure you have enough hours of free time ahead of you and dive in the greatness of playing green.
Image (c) CIFOR