As the world descends into such a desperate state of ecocide that everyday we face the real possibility of death at the hands of our irresponsible species...
It makes sense that we would retreat into stories and games of fantasy.
But, imagine a world where these games of fantasy and heroism are integrated with the activities that Humanity and the Earth need to eek us away from the precipice of oblivion.
This is the Vision of SOL.
The goal of SOL is that we empower Parents, Teachers, and Students... And all people really with the tools and concepts that make it easy and fun for people to create games in the real world.
Real world games that are as fun and engaging as video games. Real world games that address real world problems.
This is possible, through augmented reality, open badges, RPGs, and LARPS.
Ready Player One provides a very potent example of the largest challenge facing environmentalist and other well intentioned activists:
Serious Issues Aren't Fun.
Why should/would people deal with the discomfort and effort that plagues eco and social justice activities?
The Lack of Fun is the reason that NECESSARY Actions are not presently sustainable.
As Jane McGonigal describes, it's the baseline principle of an ENGAGEMENT ECONOMY. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you (and and any cause you care about) are in competition with the very vast and seductive world of digital entertainment. So, if you're serious about getting people to care about your cause, you shouldn't be asking yourself "how can I get people to fit activism into their freetime?" You should ask:
"How can I make participating in my cause MORE entertaining and rewarding than Netflix or Video Games?"
Because that's the score.
At the end of the day, people have (approximately) 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, and 8 hours for leisure and errands. How are you going to inspire them to spend some of those precious leisure hours improving the world??
You can look at this as trivial. Trivializing. Sure, I've heard it before. "This is not a game. This is super cereal". Which is an understandable sentiment when the subject is ecocide, extinction, pollution, corruption, inequality, or any of the other deadly issues facing humanity... But, the gravity of the situation does not change situation. It's you and your cause, competing against Netflix, Video Games, Facebook, and Craft Beer. If you don't compete. You'll lose. Are you going to let your ego, your sanctimony, your indignation sabotage the very thing you are fight for? I hope not.
You can feel like fun, laughter, leaderboards, and badges might demean your cause... Or you can see it as the greatest opportunity of your life:
How are you going to make a game that changes the world for the better?
Because, if you don't, bring on the escapist ecocide depicted in Ready Player One, and then, after that we'll have the world depicted in Wall-E (or worse).