16 Dec
2011
Posted in: Hints
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Add Global Warming Mechanic to Minecraft?

Here is a simple mechanic that could change the game of Minecraft and turn it into a simulation of how to deal with the crisis of global warming. Much like Redstone did for logic circuits, this could be a mass educator to kids on how to live sustainably.

This video depicts a regularly generated world, but with a score on the top left. This score represents carbon emissions. When items are cooked, when coal and ores are smelted, when trees are burned, the carbon score goes up. When trees are planted, the score goes down. Obviously the numbers will need to be tweaked; the sky gets gray too quickly.

The viewer of this video is led to imagine the possibilities that this carbon score could have on the mechanics of Minecraft. The player needs to be deeply motivated to increase carbon emissions because of the vast recourse rewards that it will bring.  An example could be that if carbon emissions are high enough, then it will rain coal.  And then we will create these systems that must be continually fed with enough coal in order to not break down and rust. Of course, there would need to be dire consequences to the environment when it rains coal. An example could be that if it rains coal, then the water will become polluted and plants will not grow and animals will become sick.

A viewer of this of this video commented, “why isn’t the carbon level lowered continually based on how many trees are in the world?” While this is true for the physics of real life, it is not a very pragmatic mechanic for a game. Besides, part of the magic of Minecraft is that the physics are so peculiar.

Another noted, “Minecraft is a wonderful statement of human influence on land as it is even without this mod – you start with a virgin, beautiful landscape and slowly rip it asunder and fill it with industry.”

We can all see Minecraft heading in this direction. This is how Mojang shall become the most influential indie game development studio on Earth.

So, what do you think?

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