The World Without Oil game is an interesting look into what can be made out of the concept of a “game.” And while it doesn’t adhere to the traditional idea of a “game” at all, it still is one in its structure. I’d probably describe it more as a collaborative narrative or something along those lines, but I can see why they want to call and sell it as a game. Simply because, to me, a game is something that people are more likely to participate in.
And that’s part of the reason why it works so well as an experience and learning situation. Because something called a game sounds much more attractive to participate in than a social experiment. Plus, people like using their imaginations to make up narratives. I didn’t participate in this thing, but the idea that I get to write up a complete fictional story sounds crazy fun. Throw in thousand of others that I can bounce ideas off of and combine story-lines with? Sign me up.
It seems like the kind of idea that has been around for a while now (Mad Max came to my mind), but it’s still something that is socially relevant and also fun to join in on. I wouldn’t be too shocked if this exact game made another appearance on the tech radar within a couple of years. Just off of sheer numbers alone, it would make sense that they would try and resurrect it. Maybe the next time they’ll take away another huge resource or something.