Al Gore, the Nobel Laureate, Oscar winner, former congressman, senator, Vice President and once upon a time the next President of the United States, likes Oceanopolis, the Facebook game created by Greenopolis to make the recycling habit fun and engaging.
Speaking at the Games for Change conference at New York University this week, the author of Earth In the Balance and An Inconvenient Truth, said “I’ve been encouraged by recent developments like Trash Tycoon and Oceanopolis, and both have spurred my thinking in this area. In closing, I want to say that I’d love to work with any teams that are interested in making games that are focused on solutions to the climate crisis. I look forward to getting to know this community better.” We welcome your involvement, Mr. Vice President. Recycling helps reverse climate change, too!
The long time environmental champion and self proclaimed “recovering politician” also noted that “Games have clearly arrived as a mass medium… Games are the new ‘normal’ for hundreds of millions of users every month.” It’s this mass medium that Oceanopolis uses to get people into the recycling habit and increase the amount of material recaptured, reused and recycled. Oceanopolis wants to create a recycling ethic and keep valuable materials out of sensitive ecosystems like our oceans.
Many folks think of gaming, online or offline, as a pastime for slackers. But the former VP noted that
“This industry is sometimes defined by some of the lowest common denominator games … but the cooperation over competition and the social rules aspect is gaining momentum.”
Oceanopolis users are making a difference in the real world as they engage in recycling behavior in the virtual one. A portion of the proceeds generated by playing Oceanopolis goes to support Ocean-Aid and organization dedicated to cleaning up the plastic in our oceans and educating folks so it doesn’t wind up there in the first place. So the hours you spend online playing Oceanopolis is literally helping to make a difference in the world. Plus once you’ve recycled everything in sight on your Oceanopolis Island, you’ll be a lot more likely to keep recycling and expand your awareness of recycling and ocean issues.
As the VP said, “We already know the immense power of popular media to illuminate issues that can seem intractable and overly complex, but through games issues can be illuminated and presented to general audiences in a way that invites people to become involved in trying to solve the problems that our society has to solve.”
So the “sea” of Oceanopolis users are changing themselves and the world for the better. Each of us may be just a drop in the bucket. But the drops are filling the bucket. Come play with us!