Digital Design Senior Lecturer Gregory Bennett’s Virtual Reality project, Lost City of Mer, was on exhibit at the United Nations General Assembly Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Zone in New York this week.
The Lost City of Mer is a Virtual Reality (VR) experience aimed at inspiring action against climate change. It was one of 14 works selected to display stories and lessons that can help to accelerate SDG action.
The SDG Action Zone is a space inside the United Nations grounds during General Assembly week (UNGA) where different events and exhibits are put together to inspire meaningful and visible engagement around UN-High level meetings.
The Lost City of Mer immerses players in a magical underwater civilisation devastated by climate change. The game’s narrative structure utilises a smartphone app and interactive VR gameplay, where players can win rewards that result in positive action and life creation within the game and reduce their personal carbon footprint at the same time.
Greg Bennett says, “The science-based fantasy game was built using UN data and aims to harness the immersive and empathetic potential of VR to address climate change and create a sense of agency in the player with regard to their personal carbon footprint.”
The project is a research collaboration between AUT School of Art & Design and New York-based producer/director Liz Canner of Astrea Media. It also features VR design work by current Art & Design PhD student Katarina Markovic, and VR navigation coding from Master of Design graduate Masaya Todoroki.
Lost City of Mer.
More about the SDG Action zone: exhibits and events.
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Digital Design at AUT
Art & Design Senior Lecturer Gregory Bennett