Rants & Essays

Gadabout Gamers: My Dream Game

Gadabout Gamers Since I’m considerably newer to gaming than many of the bloggers participating in Gadabout Gamers, I felt a little weird about choosing the theme “My Dream Game.” I didn’t grow up playing games with deep, complex stories and characters, so I didn’t really grow up with an idea of what I thought would make a great game. And while many of the people I spend time with these days are game makers of one type or another, I have yet to dip my toes into the waters of game development myself.

However, while agonizing over my own choice of theme for this month’s link up, I suddenly remembered that I did have an idea for a game. A great one. And one that I do dream of actually helping to make a reality someday. So here goes nothing.

I guess it could be argued that my idea is really more of an “app” than a “game,” but it would employ game mechanics and my hope is that kids it is aimed at would happily refer to it as a game. That’s right, I want to make a game for kids. And I wanna call it “My Nature Passport.”

The inspirations for MNP was a comment my mom had made about how my nephew spends more time on his tablet than he does outside playing. So being the little video game advocate I am, my brain went immediately to “wouldn’t it be cool if you could make going outside and interacting with nature into a game… One you could play on a tablet?” And from there the ideas just came flowing out.

The basic concept behind MNP would be to “collect” plants and animals into your Nature Passport using the tablet’s camera. The passport would have a pre-populated list of plants and animals to collect based on your geographic location, as well as scientific and other information about the organisms. Additional organisms would be available as DLC based on seasons and regions.

Achievements could take the form of badges, like those awarded by Scouts or Guides and could even unlock additional content like videos or songs. I also really like the idea of including a social component, where users could exchange items in their passports with friends in different regions or countries to help them unlock achievements that would otherwise be out of their grasps.

I love the idea of kids around the world being able to share the environment around them and learn about different places and the things that live there. I also really like the idea of parents being able to download specific bundles based on family trips to create excitement about new places beyond hotels or theme parks.

And while the social component may prove to be too complicated to implement properly, the rest of it seems like such a no-brainer I’m surprised no one else has done it yet. Or maybe they have and I just don’t know about it. But in any event, if you’re an app developer and you’d like to give it a stab, maybe drop me a line and we can pick each other’s brains.

Thanks again to everyone participating in this month’s link up.

Next month’s theme is: Love Is A Game

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane Y.
    June 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

    oh my gosh! this is such a great idea! and i love the achievement in the form of a badge idea. i loved collecting badges as a girl scout and having my mom sew them on my sash or vest.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      The original idea was for the badges to be virtual, but I love the idea of having the option of sending away for real badges.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    June 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    That’s such a cool idea! Really, I hope it gets made. I’d play it!!! ^__^

  • Reply
    acatris
    June 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    This is an awesome idea! I am a complete achievement hound/completionist (not to mention a bit of a nature nut) – so I would love a game like this. It would be like having a pokedex for real life flora and fauna 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      That’s the idea. I’m also a total collection/completionist nerd and I loved spotting new animals and plants when I was a kid. It all just seemed to fit together.

  • Reply
    Jasmine Lammers
    June 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    That is a very cool idea, well done you. 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks! Every time I think about it I get more and more ideas. I just need to find someone to help me make it real.

  • Reply
    izzygb2
    June 2, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    This is such a great idea! You have definitely inspired me to write a post to link up!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Awesome! I can’t wait to read it.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    June 3, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Definitely a cool idea, unless you go on to study more specific subjects in highschool, or have your own self interest, we tend to only learn the basics of other countries. As a geek myself for all things nature, I give this idea two thumbs up!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks! I grew up in nature parks petting slugs and pwning tourists at bird identification. I think all kids should be able to develop a relationship with the natural world.

  • Reply
    Gadabout Gamers: My Dream Game | Geekphoria
    June 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

    […] is “My Dream Game”. Mariko herself came up with this really exciting mobile game, which you can read about on her blog. My own dream game isn’t so well thought-out. Instead, it’s a list of aspects from […]

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