Green gamers highlight environmental concerns

By Tierney Smith

Storm clouds gather overhead.  Industrial structures loom in the distance. You run.

You dodge the pipelines, crates, pools of toxic sludge and random objects that are smashing down into your pathway.

Morphing into a bear you are able to crash through structures. As a panther you scale vast heights jump over anything that gets in your way.

Does this sound like a fantasy world or a nightmare?

Either way it is one of three worlds which a user must move around as part of a new online computer game called Exeunt.

Exeunt means ‘they exit/leave’, and  represents the way the game should be perceived.

“Simply, it’s about escape,” says the game’s designer Hugh Osborne, from Speakeasy Games.

The aim of the game is for the user to move through different worlds – an industrial world, a commercial world and a battlefield.

To pass the deluge of obstacles they are able to morph into wild animals, using their skills and speed to bulldoze or leap over barriers.

As a bear users can crash through structures that fall in their path

Osborne says it aims to make users think about how to reconcile the implications of mass production, global warming, overcrowding and conflict with our desire for modern comforts.

“You have all these big questions and it’s about how everyday all these people deal with them, if you are not a campaigner or a politician, how these questions are dealt with often in quite loose terms,” he says.

“You can definitely ask questions and you can inform people with games. There are a lot of educational games being produced in London at the moment. I definitely think it is a route worth taking and it adds something more substantial to what something feels like a simplistic or juvenile past time.”

Panthers can leap over shipping containers and pools of toxic sludge

Osborne says he has been inspired by movements such as Occupy which also aim to find answers to those questions.

“It is not just about the money and the market side of things but also the environment and overcrowding.

“They are trying to come up with ideas to fix society I suppose and that has been an inspiration to me – obviously living in London the Occupy movement at St Paul’s has been interesting and that kind of fed into the game.”

The game is expected to be available for download from August to September 2012.

Contact the author on [email protected] or @rtcc_tierney.

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