Environment-focused game wins European award

23 May 2016

The competition was a collaboration between the European Youth Event (EYE 16), Games for Change Europe and the European Parliament.

The competition was a collaboration between the European Youth Event (EYE 16), Games for Change Europe and the European Parliament.

A digital game that encourages the building of a sustainable environment, designed by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) students, has won a European award.

The game came first out of a final five at the YOUROPE Game Challenge, which required designers to engage players in “pressing social and ecological challenges of our time”.

The winning game is called Anthrocratos, the goal of which is to create a sustainable environment that keeps a country’s citizens happy.

The competition was a collaboration between the European Youth Event (EYE 16), Games for Change Europe and the European Parliament. 

The final five games from across the EU were decided on by a panel of games industry experts and the winner decided by a public vote.

The third-year students behind the game were Hamish Zerbinati, Rory Whittle, Beatrice Farias, Nikolett Losonci, Victoria Middleton, Lauryn McCorkell, Kieran Gallagher, Jordan Coyle and David Stuart.

Hamish said: “Winning YOUROPE was really satisfying. Even though we were aware of the positive response by the public going into the final, being announced as winners and receiving a trophy felt good.

“The idea came about as part of a university project that required us to make a game for a client. Our client was Dr Joost Vervoort, a Scenarios Officer for Climate Change and Food Security at the University of Oxford, who asked us to develop a game based on Seeds of Good Anthropocenes, a collaboration of institutions that aims to counterbalance current dystopic visions of the future with that of a positive future for the Earth and humanity.

“Our main goal was to create a game which is fun to play as much as it is educational. We wanted to empower the player by giving them the opportunity to shape an area and a society as they pleased, while making them interested in the topics at hand.

“When we saw the YOUROPE criteria, we knew we had the perfect entry.”

Jordan said: “We plan to continue working on the game together as a team, fixing bugs and hopefully adding more features, before we start to think about commercialisation.”

Katharina Tillmanns, chair of the jury and co-president of Games for Change Europe, said: “With the YOUROPE competition we want to challenge game-design students and young developers throughout the EU to express their perspective on real-world topics. We are excited to see the teams engage their players in novel experiences that inspire controversial discussion.”

The award ceremony took place at the European Parliament on May 20 and 21 in Strasbourg, France. 

A video of the winning game can be viewed here.