Can A Video Game Solve This Ecological Crisis?

Environmental Disaster
If video games really had power to fix the environment, Al Gore would have nothing to fear... And the amount of video games I play would be less embarrassing.

The feds believe that spending $200,000 on a video game that focuses on the importance of clean water can be a total game changer in promoting health.

The National Institutes of Health has announced a $200,000 in grants for a video game about clean water. The video game is supposed to help the children playing it “right the environmental wrongs,” in the fictional town portrayed in the game.

“Improving STEM-focused curriculum is a primary objective of the current U.S. administration and is crucial for ensuring that upcoming generations receive the training and skills necessary to compete in the existing global economy,” the grant for the project argued.

“To that end, there is an urgent need for additional effective teaching tools able to reach a generation that requires instant access to information and advanced technology,” it further stated.

The project which started as of July has currently received a sum of $224,999 in grants with research that shall continue all the way through 2018. The Meadowlark Science and Education announced their very special project and indicated that they are actively working on their project for producing a video game called “Water Follies.”

“You play as Clark Flyer, a meadowlark who works together with a diverse cast of lovable animal characters, to solve and correct environmental issues plaguing their town,” Meadowlark Science and Education stated. “Clark’s goal is to convince the reluctant politicians in power that clean, lead-free drinking water should be everyone’s top priority.”

It has been noted that the target audience for the video game that promotes a healthy environment is aimed to be fifth and sixth graders, who can make use of the game to not only increase their knowledge in areas of Science, Technology and Mathematic, but would also contribute towards increasing their “awareness of the importance of clean water.”

“Of particular interest to this proposal is the development of a highly effective, marketable, and interactive educational video game (iEVG) that focuses on STEM topics and targets 5th and 6th grade students—the age at which interest in STEM subjects is developed or lost,” the grant indicated.

While the feds believe that a video game can make a much greater contribution than fixing the problem of bad drinking water itself, it was only last year that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) highlighted that they had issued water quality violation notices to 37% of Texas’s 3,780 small community water systems. With around 350 of the system had some very serious violations. Moreover, a recent article by USA Today indicated that in Ranger, Texas, where the city’s water system that was built to serve a population of more than ten times its current size was subjected to serval serious violations – and these just few of the many issues that the country is facing in relation to the lack of availability of clean water.