Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg0
The Online Game that Plants Real Seeds: Rainmaker Project
You could certainly be forgiven for seeing phrases like “online game” and “planting seeds” together, and automatically thinking of Farmville: even though the Facebook game has died down in popularity, its still the standard for gaming about planting. The Rainmaker Project has something quite different in mind when it brings together these terms, though: a global community committed to the sustainable exchange and planting of seeds… in the real world. It ain’t Farmville; rather, its more like Facebook itself, made up of people committed to expanded landscape of real, live plants, and ideas for cultivating those plants more sustainably.
Creator Michelle Moriyasu came up with the idea after discovering, and then visiting with, Japan’s Rainmaker Organization. This non-profit is dedicated to a relatively simple concept: the planting of seed balls as a more sustainable means of growing more crops in places that need them. Developed by Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, and detailed in his book The One-Straw Revolution, the seed ball method helped farmers in dry regions of Africa, India, and other places grow more crops during the 1990s. Michelle wanted to spread the practice of seed ball use, and raise funds for the organization itself, so she created The Rainmaker Project global game to achieve both of those ends. Let me allow Michelle to explain further (and I suggest you expand this video to full-screen size):
Michelle has started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo to fund the launch of the Rainmaker Project, and I’m really excited about supporting this one: its got all the hallmarks of a potential movement. Given the designs already created for the game, you can expect some gorgeous thank-you gifts: everything from postcards to posters to completely unique t-shirts. The real reward here is getting in early on what I suspect will become a thriving online community… even more than Farmville!
This strikes me as a really unique concept, but I could just be sheltered. If you know of other “games” like this, let us know about them.