River guardian Yu : an exploration of an environmental game concept design : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Environmental digital games with interactive narrative methods can be a useful tool for conveying environmental messages to increase people’s awareness. This is especially true for young audiences who readily accept new media in their daily life. This project was prompted by concern about the impact of water pollution on rare and endangered aquatic animals along the Yangtze River and internationally, and the role of humans in perpetuating the problem. I explore how folklore stories can be applied in a modern environmental game concept to transmit environmental messages so as to promote the traditional values of harmony between human and nature to audiences. This research project adapts the Chinese folklore stories of Great Yu and the Classic of Mountains and Seas and integrates them through interactive storytelling in an environmental game concept about water pollution damage to underwater creatures. Within the paradigm of concept design, the project creates a modern environmental game case that explores these folklore stories together with the possibility of using environmental games for educational purposes. My game concept aims to promote and enhance young people's environmental education and raise their concerns about these important issues.