Video games are not exactly eco-friendly, considering the materials required to make game consoles, as well as the massive amount of carbon emissions produced by online game servers. At the same time, video games can inspire environmental activism.
Numerous titles have heroes facing threats that not only harm humans, but also the natural world. The games in which they star may have a science fiction or fantasy angle, or they could be about regular people. The heroes of these games may be soldiers, animals, or ordinary human beings that can inspire others to take action.
7/7 Bring Back Color To Nippon In Okami
Okami, the game from the team whose members would form Platinum games, has gained a cult status from its early days on the PlayStation 2 and subsequent re-releases on future consoles. It has a beautiful art style inspired by Japanese woodblock paintings, as well as features a grand story immersed in Japan’s folklore.
The mission of Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess reincarnated as a white wolf, is not just to slay an eight-headed demon, but also to save the environment. The minions of Orochi drain life and color from the land. Amaterasu must use the celestial brush to restore life to the sacred trees of each zone she visits, returning the vivid colors, foliage, and running waters.
6/7 Let The Sunshine In With Super Mario Sunshine
What starts as a vacation with his love to Delfino Island turns to a mucky mess, when a Mario doppelganger covers the island in a black goop that forces the island’s source of light, the Shines, to flee. Accused of the dirty deeds, Mario must now clean up and uncover the real mastermind.
In Super Mario Sunshine, the goop makes a mess of everything, and ruins the summer fun for everyone. Mario uses his Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device (FLUDD for short), to take care of the mess. Bit by bit, Mario cleans up the beautiful harbor, hotel, and coral cliffsides, revealing the vibrant tropical colors buried beneath.
5/7 Terra Nil Undoes Some Of Humanity’s Damage
Humans have left their mark on the environment, and not in the best way. The question is what can humans do to address this impact? Terra Nil offers some potential solutions.
The game bills itself as a “reverse city builder.” Using eco-friendly technology, one must reintroduce diverse biomes, including forests, marshlands, and coral reefs. Wildlife returns, and with that, some hope for the planet. When the work is done, all the equipment is recycled, leaving virtually no trace of humanity’s involvement. The demo is on Steam right now, and the original prototype can be found on itch.io.
4/7 Fight Alongside The Na’vi In James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game
Since the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s Avatar is hitting theaters this December, now is a good time to look back on the tie-in game for the movie, released for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. The game follows a soldier named Ryder with the Resources Development Association, or RDA for short, who have come to the planet of Pandora to collect its rich natural resources.
The hook for Avatar: The Game is that the soldier is given a choice as to whether he should continue his mission with the RDA or join the Na’vi, the planet’s indigenous alien race, and fight back against the human occupation. Both sides have different tools and elements that mix up the gameplay. The RDA side is more of a third-person shooter, while the Na’Vi side has more brawler-centric elements.
3/7 Cleaning Up Litter In Island Saver Is Profitable
In Island Saver, a Bionaut needs to collect the cans and plastic bottles strewn across diverse zones. Gathering this litter and washing the black goop off of trees and water sources will bring back the islands’ bankimals, which will provide money upon being fed enough of a preferred food.
Island Saver is not just about saving animals. It is also about saving money. The game was published by the National Westminster Bank. Its gameplay is built around introducing concepts of money management, starting with simple things like opening a bank account and paying taxes, then going into more complex subjects like taking out a loan from a bank and exchanging currencies. The only villain worse than Ganondorf is the IRS.
2/7 Alba Takes Pictures Of Cute Animals
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a small game with a big heart. It follows Alba, a young girl who is visiting her grandparents on their island home for vacation. There, Alba and the entire community get some shocking news: the island’s nature reserve is going to be torn apart to make room for a fancy hotel, in an effort to bring more tourism to the island.
To stop this, Alba goes on an adventure collecting signatures for a petition to prevent the hotel’s construction. Along the way, she will fix signs with information about the island’s wildlife, take photos of each critter with a smartphone, and even help out an animal or two along the way.
1/7 Sonic’s Gotta Go Fast And Save The Animals
Sonic is seen as a bit of a joke by many today, with the inconsistent quality of his recent video games, but there was a time where Sonic was putting the heat on Nintendo and their rotund plumber, with his first games on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.
Sonic’s adventures usually consist of him and his friends fighting Doctor Robotnik and freeing cute woodland creatures. sonic the hedgehog 2 sees the blue blur bringing chaos to a chemical plant and an oil rig, which are normally bad news for any ecosystem.
MORE: Games to Help Players Appreciate Nature