Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of late French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, has teamed up with the University of Virginia to produce a game that shows off how day-to-day decisions impact the Chesapeake Bay region.
UVA Junior Avery Paxton plays a farmer in the Chesapeake Bay game, and described to NBC29.com how his avatar’s actions can affect change in the game, “The measures that I take for farming can either increase or decrease the nitrogen or phosphorous that are going into the bay watershed and eventually creating anoxic regions.”
Players can also take on the role of fishermen, developers or policy makers. The game uses actual scientific data to simulate the health of the Bay, which Cousteau said is “in a steady decline.”
Speaking to UVA paper The Cavalier Daily, student Michael Villalobos said the game is so realistic, that, “There’s plenty of validity in making it useful for policymakers.”
Cousteau added, “In the long run, we will be developing this as a K-12 game and applying it to use in watersheds around the world.”