Online launch of new socio-ecological strategy game “GoJelly”
The fact that jellyfish numbers are increasing in the ocean, as in the game, is not an imagined scenario. It is an already visible consequence of global warming. That is why the HORIZON 2020 project GoJelly, funded by the European Union, has set itself the task of seeing jellyfish not as a problem, but as part of the solution. An international team of researchers is working on methods to make the jellyfish usable. Players of the strategy game learn the ways in which this can be done. One of the goals of the GoJelly project is to make people aware of the many ways in which jellyfish can be used and to reduce their fear of contact with them.
Games- Bringing science to the public
To bring the science to the public, a new digital socio-ecological strategy game was developed within the project.
The underlying idea was to create a strategy game for the public as well as for educational purposes, showing the trade-offs between social, economic and ecological management decisions in a world of jellyfish in a playful and understandable manner. The development of the game brought together expertise from science, programming, storytelling and design to fulfill this mission.
This strategy game demonstrates the complexity of a marine system with jellyfish in it, under changing environmental conditions, giving solution approaches for a sustainable management to the interested public. It is focused on the human elements of the socio-ecological system as both impacted by and in turn causing changes in the marine environment. Plastics in the oceans is but one of the problems to solve in the GoJelly game. Others are eutrophication, sustainable food production and jellyfish aquaculture to manage jellyfish as a plague or a resource within trade-off analysis of different eco-system goods and services.
Playing the game
The player slips into the role of the mayor of Sunset City. The mayor luckily has support in the form of a capable research team. In each mission the player must choose wisely in favor of his beautiful city, always having an eye on the Sea in front of it. The player has several options to interact with jellyfish. Environmental factors and good or bad decisions influence the course of the game and the score. The final goal is to reach a sustainably balanced system with jellyfish.
The game is browser-based and single player. It takes about 15 minutes to play and can be used in different educational settings to dive deeper into specific topics of the project or serve as a first overview to sustainable marine ecosystem management and its different aspects.
GoJelly is available in English. For the best gaming experience, it is recommended to play in the Chrome browser on the desktop PC or a tablet. This game loads large videos and should be played on Wi-Fi to save your data volume.
Play the game here:
For more information and feedback about the game please contact:
Dr. Frederike Tirre
Center for Ocean and Society
Find more information about the GoJelly Research Project here:
Dr. Frederike Tirre