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What is Inverted NEM? 

 

‘Inverted NEM’ (Nancy, Esther, Marlowe) is an independent game studio based in Vancouver, we are a team of artists and designers who love video games. In our work, we intend to be able to expand upon this concept of “playful design” and explore what it means to create engaging design within a community. We are heavily inspired by 2d art and design and find inspiration in personal stylization, with a love for eco-punk and solar futurism.

 

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ECOPICA is an independently produced video game developed by Nancy Zou, Esther Bellefontaine, and Alisa Ribeiro. We are a team of artists and designers who use interactive art as means of storytelling and narrative exploration.

 

ECOPICA challenges the current consumer-centric culture of North American culture in a capitalistic society. Through player interaction and agency, the player is immersed in a world and is motivated to learn and challenge the issues that are causing ecological destruction within a North American context and perspective. The game will actively challenge subjects such as consumerism, and modern day capitalist systems with a focus on creating dialogue centred around ecological sustainability within the community.

Notebook system of Alpha 2.8

The video game uses a design future narrative to explore what our society could become in the future, if we do not fight back against the powers that dictate how we live. How we can shape our future through action and encouraging dialogue amongst people The story of ECOPICA follows Buddy, a detective from another world who is set out to explore and document their discoveries of the City of New Hudsonia. Buddy’s home planet Caerulea is modelled after the modern Greater Vancouver Region. Caerulea is experiencing massive urbanisation, an economic recession and a housing crisis, hoping to find the solution to the current issues their community is facing, Buddy is sent off to investigate “New Hudsonia”, a technological metropolis who showed similar signs of issues in their community prior to losing contact with Caerulea. The big shift towards this discussion of the relationship between human and nature takes form in The Exodus. The Exodus are former residents of New Hudsonia, who left the city for various reasons and started to build their own communities, with a community focused on living with the land rather than taking control of it. While in the game they are not explicitly shown, Buddy and the player will be able to see their societal and ecological impact in the world and the positive change they were able to bring about within their communities. The Exodus focuses on building this relationship between the community and the natural world, with a focus on living with the land rather than taking command of it.


 New Hudsonia is modelled after this idea of “what would the greater Vancouver region look like in 100 years if we did not challenge our systems?” With allusions to current societal and ecological issues within the community, namely the housing crisis, massive urbanisation of the land, and greenwashing. Buddy, as controlled by the player, will document and report these discoveries, and through player agency, the player will have the choice to present their research and discoveries to the authorities of Caerulea, in hopes of being able to evoke positive change within their community.