ACM - Computers in Entertainment

AgriVillage

By Rui Prada, Helmut Prendinger, Panita Yongyuth, Arturo Nakasoneb, Asanee Kawtrakulc
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 12, No. 2]

DOI: 10.1145/2701657.2633417

Agriculture, while of uttermost importance for society, may also have a strong negative impact on the environment. Hence we propose a game that offers players the opportunity to experience the effects of different styles of agriculture on the environment. The game was built with the purpose of promoting the awareness of agriculture issues, such as, (1) the impact of fertilizers in sources of fresh water, (2) the problems related to deforestation and impact on the weather, and (3) the importance of balancing environmental and economic perspectives in order to produce food of good quality with low impact on the environment—and at the same time keep the activity sustainable. To make players care about these issues, we added a direct impact of the players' actions on a population of non-player characters, the villagers, whose simple autonomous behaviors resemble that of living entities. The game was implemented in the multi-user online three-dimensional (3-D) virtual world platform Open-Simulator, which supports an immersive user experience and high accessibility. An experiment was performed and showed that the game improved players' knowledge about agriculture and their awareness of the environmental impact of agriculture.

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