Video games have been played since the late 1970s and since then, as computer processing power has increased exponentially, they have become more and more complex and realistic. They are playable on all types of devices – smartphones, computers, TVs, tablets. It is an absolutely massive industry, with Juniper Research estimating that in 2017 there will be over $100 billion worth of video games sales. The most popular form are adventure/quest-style games, often with an element of violence and war, however due to their popularity and accessibility they provide a really interesting access point to get people involved with issues regarding sustainability. Here are some examples where gaming has been used:
How can I do it? Producing a video game is technically difficult and typically requires a team of designers, artists and programmers along with creative professionals skilled at storytelling and playability to make a worthwhile product. There is also possibility of using game design engines which have game elements already programmed that can be “bolted” together to create a workable game. Many of these tend to be platform games which can be easily replicated. Also, some games are designed to be modified (modded) where users can design their own environments (game spaces/locations/battlegrounds) , add different characters and create different scenarios.
For example, the game Cities: Skyline that was used in Stockholm for urban planning has recently launched Cities: Skylines- Green Cities. This version has an additional 350 assets from the original game, giving players ways to build earth-friendly towns with a selection of “eco-friendly buildings, organic shops, electric vehicles, and new services designed to make pollution a quaint notion of the past.”
If you are considering making your own video game a detailed beginner’s guide is available here.