Minecraft is a sandbox game that is really hot among kids and some adults. It creates a world where players can freely explore, construct and create their own version of reality. It does not have a story narrative, or a serious of missions to complete. A new versions of story mode is also to be introduced this month.
I decided to create a Minecraft Mod to teach the importance to preserve the environment and keep the balance of nature.
To make this mod, I am planning to keep most of the mechanics of the original game, and make only a few changes to it. I’d like to (1) make the area available for exploration much smaller than the current map, (2) make the resources for the map relatively scarce, and (3) make the landscape in the game undergo a constant dynamic change according to the player’s behavior.
The reason that I kept most of the game’s original mechanism is that Minecraft has already constructed a very realistic world in which the player is experiencing the game through a first person perspective. Therefore, it is very common for the player to be under the idea that whatever happened in the game is a direct consequence of his actions. The first two changes I made are to increase the difficulty level of the game, to make the survival in this virtual world even harder than it is now. And the third change - the most important change - is to build a connection between player’s choices in the game and the change of his living environment. Since Minecraft have already provided a number of distinct environment for human habitation, there should be no technological difficulty to gradually change from one into another (e.g. when the trees got cut down, the forests gradually turn into grasslands, and if the situation did not get better, turn into deserts). Not only the appearance of the landscape will change but also its effect on the resources (e.g. in deserts the water evaporates quickly and the sheep and cow herds are nowhere to be found). The species are also facing the danger of extinction, and once they died out, the player loses an important source of food. Gradually, the player will realize that the only way to survive this game is to be economical of the resource consumption, and grow some new resources (crop, animal, tree, etc.) when he consumes them. Hopefully, through playing this game, the player will have developed deeper understandings of climate change, ecological balance, renewable and nonrenewable resources, etc.
The reason I think this mod could work is that through this first person point of view, players will attribute the consequences (climate change) to his personal action. In that way, under the pressure of survival, the player will be forced to make eco-efficient choices, through which could lead to a schema change on the issue.