Peak Oil is You

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Page added on April 30, 2007

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Slick way to address oil thirst

Oil is the oxygen of our economy. What would happen if oil supplies dried up?

That’s the story behind a new computer game launching today, “World Without Oil” at This game, which can be played for free over the Internet, isn’t purely make believe. It’s meant to draw attention to the real possibility of an oil shock and what our country and the world have to do to prepare for it. The ideas that people come up with for surviving in a post-oil world in the game could actually pay off in real life if they lead to less consumption and more alternative sources of energy.

The blurring of imaginary and real life is intentional. Players can affect the story and outcome of the game based on what they do in real life. The game is part of the increasingly popular “alternate reality game” genre, and its creators believe that they can use it as a serious vehicle to entertain people and, simultaneously, draw attention to a social issue.

Part of a so-called “serious games” movement, the creators hope to use the inherently entertaining nature of games as a medium to hook and educate mass audiences. It resembles other games such as “Re-Mission,” which educates kids with cancer about how to fight the disease (a game funded by Pam Omidyar, who is married to eBay founder Pierre Omidyar).

San Jose Mercury News

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