As the ONLY Canadian game developer dedicated solely on environmental education, we often face this question: why use technology to connect kids with nature?
We have a complicated relationship with technology. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to support billions of people on our planet, and we won’t be able to enjoy necessities like AC and continental travel. But we’re now so enamored with technology that we’re under the illusion that we can control nature, and in doing so, have ushered in the anthropocene age. This idea is dangerous because human beings belong to the biosphere. We depend on clean air, water and soil to survive — no advancement in technology will ever change that equation.
That’s a long way of saying that technologies are neutral. How we use them makes a big difference. In our case, we use mobile and gaming technologies in iBiome series to make the interactions in nature tangible and experiential, which is important to help kids understand ecology and the effects of climate change. But if kids end up so addicted to our games that it keeps them from applying those lessons and interacting with the outside world, then we have failed our mission.