We are excited and pleased to announce the recipients of our two £10,000 seed funds to be awarded for the development of initial prototypes of games with social and/or scientific benefit. The games (in alphabetic order) are:
Shallow Seas: a multiplayer fishing game based in real-world locations of fisheries where, in reality, the tragedy of the commons often leads to the depletion of the common resource - fish. While agent based models can solve some related issues, they are dependent on researchers assumptions about the behavior of individuals rather than real world data. Shallow Seas will offer an exciting and novel solution to these challenges as it will permit real people to interact within a realistic and therefore meaningful resource extraction context, and offer immediate data collection of social processes. It also has the potential to help resource users visualize the connection between patterns of social interaction in their community and the sustainability of the resources upon which they depend, a common hurdle in solving collective action problems. - Proposed by Adrienne Tecza (University of Oxford), Ed Powley (Orange Helicopter), David Obura (CORDIO East Africa), Professor David Zeitlyn (University of Oxford), Howard Noble (University of Oxford) and Professor Richard Law (University of York).
The Last Bumblebee: a game designed to teach children (and their parents) about the importance of bumblebees to the world around them. The primary audience for playing the game is young children, aged 3-11. However, the game is designed to encourage collaborative play with parents and guardians via the use of specially designed challenges. The Last Bumblebee is an attempt to create a fun and engaging game that helps inform its audience of the importance of bumblebees to the world’s ecosystem. Information will be put across not just via the game’s narrative, but also through a visceral representation of a world with fewer bees. The game will teach players why bees are important to the ecosystem and world in general and, therefore, why planting flowers in your garden is important. - Proposed by Professor Dave Goulson (University of Sussex), Dave Sapien (Me and The Giants) and David Thomson (Ludometrics).
For this call we received 13 submissions with applications from 23 academics representing 13 different universities working with 15 different commercial games companies. From these submissions many fantastic ideas have had to be overlooked given our availability of only two seed funds. We would like to publicly thank everyone who submitted a proposal, and encourage you all to pursue the development of your game concepts regardless of this outcome. Given the number of applications we attracted in a relatively short period of time, we strongly believe a larger call for proposals would result in many amazing games with significant positive impact on gamers worldwide.
Finally, we would also like to thank our external judges - Jamie Sefton (Game Republic), Dr Jo Twist (Ukie) and Professor Tanya Krzywinska (Falmouth University) - and NEMOG’s Professor Peter Cowling and Dr Ignazio Cabras who represented the team’s interests and motivations on the panel.
We are very excited to see how both the funded games develop and will keep our community regularly updated on their progress and impact.