What can be more powerful than a game to increase awareness among citizens that consumption habits need to change? Plastic Arcade is an arcade game-type machine has been designed, based on the type found in public spaces a few decades ago. In the games, players can use a grab to collect garbage in the ocean, for example, or shoot plastic waste and find themselves overrun by micro-particles.
The Arcade Game – A Retro Nod to a Highly Topical Issue. The Plastic Arcade team has come up with a range of games inspired by arcade classics, such as “Plastiroid”, a remake of Asteroids, in which the rocks of the original are now pieces of plastic waste, which break down into smaller and smaller particles when fired on, finally ending up inside fishes’ stomachs. It’s a clever way of drawing attention to the consequences on the environment of plastic consumption and on the limits of recycling. Plastic Arcade is also building its own game machine, which will be available for the public to use for free. The choice of a physical machine is not accidental: with the contrast between a much-loved retro video game, that was part of their childhood for Generations X and Y, and a current issue as unpleasant and socially shunned as plastic pollution, the designers believe they have found a key to fostering awareness of the need to change the way we consume.
A Measured Dose of Education Dispensed as Entertainment. Plastic Arcade does not set out to make people feel guilty, nor wish to broadcast uncompromising slogans asking players not to use plastic. Just as play has to remain fun, the awareness message has to be delivered subtly in order not to detract from the purely gaming experience. Consequently, the arcade machine can be used in support of other, more comprehensive awareness installations such as exhibitions, literary or documentary events on the subject or even accompanied by mediators, who can then take over and provide answers to the questions raised by the game.
Next Steps. Plastic Arcade is looking to set up partnerships with associations involved in the protection of the seas and oceans to develop the project and test the concept of arcade miniature, and propose it to the public.