The Swiss Scientist: 4S Play-Test of a Resource Intelligence Game

Edmund Konroyd-Bolden, York U

Toronto 2021: Storytelling as Relations

This Making & Doing session will serve to introduce the STS community to the Doing of Things with video games. A game has been developed in order to subvert some troubling habits of resource that are present in many other video game mechanics. Consider for example, the limitless bounty of massive, multiplayer online (MMO) “nature” that begets a looter mentality among players. The primary game mechanic that challenges this is an accelerated decision-making structure associated with resource harvest and consequent environmental impact. The novelty is that (in relatively short order) unmitigated harvest-impacts can progress into a physics that is dangerous to the player’s game completion/performance and which can be cumulative. The procedural rhetoric of resource intelligence is one of inherently good, reciprocal relations that is necessary for a stable environmental future. The Swiss Scientist game brings this into stark relief in the near-term.

Participants can also connect to the companion paper which delves into the game design process and provides some deeper theoretical background about this digital model of a climate future in-the-making.

Published: 01/30/2023