Let the (Video) Games Begin | Gaming | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Let the (Video) Games Begin 

Local Matters

BURLINGTON -- Vermont's elementary school curriculum may soon include playing a locally made video game. This summer, students in the Electronic Game and Interactive Development program at Champlain College created "Mission Mercury," an educational video game geared toward middle-schoolers.

The college students and their professors -- with a little help from Environmental Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg -- unveiled the game at a reception at Burlington's Firehouse Gallery last Friday. The premise of "Mission Mercury" is this: "Sierra," a yellow-suited woman from the future, recruits three kids -- "Zimmy," "Jane" and "Gibb" -- to help her ameliorate mercury contamination, which can cause brain damage. Players choose one of the three kid characters, then lead them through six tasks.

The tasks vary. In one, players replace the mercury-filled light bulbs at the skate park with energy-efficient models. They then recycle the bad bulb, while avoiding the skateboarders zooming past on the half-pipe. Another level challenges players to place air filters atop the smokestacks on coal-burning power plants.

Vermont's Department of Environmental Conservation funded the project, with help from the Environmental Protection Agency. This fall, the DEC will market "Mission Mercury" to schools across the state. This partnership is said to be the first of its kind.

Developers in search of future public-service games might consider these three suggestions:

"Operation Prescription"

You're a senior citizen on a fixed income -- choose "Gert," "Bert" or "Flossy." Your challenge: Navigate the red tape of Medicare and Canadian import programs to fill your prescriptions and pay your monthly bills. You win when you can fill your prescriptions and buy holiday gifts for your grandchildren.

"Rescue: New Orleans"

Players coordinate rescue operations in the aftermath of a catastrophic Category 4 Hurricane. Evacuating inner-city hospitals and nursing homes is actually worth more points than assisting white suburbanites. Blame Game Bonus Round: Hunt down inept federal, state and local officials hiding out in their spin bunkers. Fire at will. You win when everyone gets out.

"Mission Methadone"

You lost the war on drugs and got hooked on heroin. Now you're an addict in recovery. You have $50 in your pocket as you speed down the rural roads of Bennington County, on your way to the nearest methadone clinic for your daily shot. Choose from clinics in Derby, Burlington or Massachusetts.

Swerve to avoid moose, steer clear of speed traps and vans full of vengeful dealers, and watch for the best deals on gas. Try to have a few coins and enough time left before work to call state health officials and lobby for a clinic closer to home. You win when a methadone clinic opens nearby.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Gaming

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation