[permaculture] JohnRobb; SimPermaculture, a game like SimCity..

LINDARAY at att.net LINDARAY at att.net
Thu Dec 17 15:22:07 EST 2009

I think that's a great idea. 

I'd buy it if it were out there, and spread it around too.


Linda :-)
-------------- Original message from Patrick <forgeadams at yahoo.com>: -------------- 

John Ross is a military theorist/futurist/blogger who I enjoy a lot. He tends to write about geo-politics and a more hard nosed take on ecological design. He 
> recently posted this. 
> http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2009/12/the-food-game.html 
> Monday, 14 December 2009 
> Most 
> people wouldn't associate growing food with a game.  It's hard work (as 
> the summers in my youth working on our family farm attest to).  Despite 
> this preconception, gaming software (and particularly MMOs -- massively 
> multiplayer online games), might be a way to supercharge local food production.  Connect these data points:Analysis:  Farming as a MMO gameThere's a new game (both my kids and some readers pointed this out to me), called 
> Farmville, 
> that's gaining considerable popularity.  It works as a Facebook add-on, 
> and is easily downloaded via Flash.  It turns virtual farming (from 
> planting to reaping to going to market) into a fun social experience. 
>  The game now sports 60 million active users.Analysis: 
>  PermaculturePermaculture, 
> the use of designed ecosystems to produce food, might be one of the 
> best ways to add food production (and a large variety of other outputs) 
> to a resilient community.  Here's why.  Traditional farming is input 
> intensive.  From manual work (both machine and human) to energy 
> (pesticides to fertilizer), inputs drive output.  In contrast, 
> permaculture uses natural ecosystem function to replace many of these 
> tangible inputs to provide outputs on par with traditional farming. 
>  The problem is designing the ecosystem of a permaculture 
> plot to achieve high rates of return (output/input).   In short, brain 
> work has the opportunity to replaced brawn but it's tough to do.Synthesis:  The 
> MMO + Permaculture BootstrapSo, 
> as with most activities/industries that have replaced brawn and 
> physical inputs with brain work and ideas, it probably needs some 
> software to get it going (where Moore's law and network dynamics can 
> help accelerate its productivity over time).  Unfortunately, the 
> current state of software that aids the design of permaculture plots is 
> pretty dismal.  The best people can do is cobble together 
> mapping software, 3D landscape modeling software, and some auto CAD.   
> Of course, it is possible if the resources were available (my team of 
> developers could do it), to build software that enables people to 
> design, optimize, and share permaculture plots, that misses a great 
> opportunity.The real opportunity is to build a learning system 
> via software, one that naturally trains the people that use it, gets 
> better and more sophisticated over time, and is fun.  The only way I 
> know how to do that is build a game.One of the first things to do, is build a 
> simple Farmville type social game that helps people learn permaculture design 
> principles:Conservation.  Efficiency of inputs.  Repeating functions. 
>  Redundancy.Stacking functions.  Multiple uses for the same thing.Reciprocity. 
>  Outputs of one part of the system are inputs for 
> another.  In other words, cascading processes maximize the energy yield 
> of the system.Local scale.  Minimal organizational overhead.  Match production 
> to local need.Diversity.  Lots of different ecosystem participants increases 
> resilience. 
> As the game grows, it could move to a much higher level.  For 
> example, gaming software that offers the ability to add connections to 
> the real world (satellite imagery/topography of actual plots), has high 
> end graphics (for more immersive and detailed plot design), and 
> provides models/simulation (to test new configurations).  In fact, if 
> done through a game, the upfront training requirements for using this 
> new functionality would be nearly zero (for new and existing users).  I 
> could go on and get much more detailed on this, but I suspect you get 
> the picture. 
> Posted by John Robb on Monday, 14 December 2009 
> at 02:09 PM | Permalink 
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