Battle for the Coral Reefs

April 9, 2008

Battle for the Coral Reefs” is a version of the classic shooter game adapted for underwater environments. The initial description reads:

“Our scene begins three years following the great arctic devastation. With eighty percent of the planet underwater, humanity’s only hope is to help heal what is remaining. Clear the ocean of waste, and bring back the amazing coral reefs.”

Trapped in a post-apocalyptic underwater future , you swirl around in a fish-inspired space ship shooting trash. When you level up, parts of the coral reef grow back. The controls and dynamic are limited and aren’t really adapted for an underwater setting.

“Battle for the Coral Reefs” is a politically oriented newsgame that uses the coral reef crisis as a stimulus for the game’s narrative. Beyond this, it doesn’t really engage the underwater space or the environmental issues.

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Conserve Our Ocean Legacy: Ocean Survivor Game

April 6, 2008

This video game is part of the Conserve Our Ocean Legacy campaign to end overfishing. You are a fish and must escape various types of fishing (trawlers, hook and line, etc). When you are caught, the game displays information about the type of fishing that caught you.

You naturally sink in this game and your only control is to swim upward (and jump out of the water). This parallels the goal of the game, which is simply to stay alive (but you eventually die. The effect of the game, like many other political newsgames, is to basically demonstrate the futility of trying to win (for a fish) and potentially effect frustration in the player which can then be channeled towards change.


Sharkbait (1996)

March 16, 2008

The Mandala Gesture Xtreme (GX) System was created in 1996 by Toronto based computer entertainment company, the Vivid Group. Mandala is able to track the player’s movements without having to wear, touch or hold anything. Sharkbait was one of a number of games/virtual environments created for this computer vision based virtual reality system. It allows the user to engage in virtual contact sea animals and to seek out treasure; users must collect stars as they sink and avoid eels and sharks that swim by.

It was installed in Taiwan at the Taichung Ocean Aquarium as part of an interactive exhibit, and overall, seems to be used in conjunction with scientific and educational exhibits.

sharkbair

Thanks to Lisa Shapiro for pointing this one out.