My Sust Town – Online Games
An exciting new interactive game My Sust Town has been added to the Bafta Award winning My Sust House suite of games, complementing the existing environmental and building games. The town game is aimed at children up to the age of 14 and can be accessed and played online.
My Sust Town provides a platform to learn about the typical pressures of growth on a small town in Scotland. The population of this fictional town has declined due to the an ageing population and the closure of traditional industries, however, recent investment by a major company will bring with it bringing with it new jobs and opportunities for the existing inhabitants and will attract new families to the area. The Town Game focuses on the ways in which the required housing, schools, transport, retail and energy could be developed in a sustainable way.
The Town game is an interactive collection of activities based around the expansion and growth of a fictional town in Scotland. As participants work through the videos, quizzes, debates and planning exercises, they will learn about the impact of any choices that they make on the town. At the end they are presented with a Sustainability rating for their town, and players can compare their scores with their friends to try and achieve the highest sustainability rating.
The material can be used in many ways, either for individual use or as part of a group activity. As well as providing interesting information, it stimulates discussion, presents problem-solving activities and provides a context for teamwork and decision-making. It provides a resource for meaningful and effective learning and teaching opportunities across many areas of the Curriculum for Excellence.
There are five games within the Town Game, these are:
1. Housing activity
There are not enough houses to cope with the all the new people moving to MySust Town – new housing will have to be built around the existing town as there’s no space left inside the town’s current boundaries. Can this be done in a sustainable way?
This activity raises issues such as: greenbelts, housing density, street patterns, and sustainable building and planning methods.
2. School Quiz
MySustTown has new high school built on the edge of town. However the new school was built very quickly with little regard to sustainability. There are ways of reducing the amount of energy used by the school by adapting and modifying the existing building.
This activity raises issues such as: energy use, food waste, recycling, waste disposal, and water usage – all related to schools.
3. Transport Quiz
More people in MySustTown means more personal and public transportation. The challenge is to grow the infrastructure without damaging the environment.
This activity raises issues such as: commuting, congestion charges, high occupancy lanes and public transport.
4. Retail Activity
My Sust Town needs more shops for its expanding population. There is a lively debate in the town about where these will be built. The debate has focused on two main choices:
1. Allow the construction of a new supermarket and retail park with new access roads
2. Refuse the application and build a new arcade off the new high street and invest in street-scaping of the town centre.
This activity raises issues such as: brownfield development, buying locally, carbon-offsetting, economies of scale, food miles, greenbelts and reducing waste.
5. Energy Activity
MySust Town will need more energy for its expanding population. Energy is needed to heat and light houses shops, schools and offices. The existing source, a local coal fired power station, is polluting and has high carbon emissions. The proposal is:
1. Build a new nuclear power station to meet the whole area’s power needs
2. Develop sources of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency.
This activity raises issues such as: climate change, energy cost, efficiency and security, multiplier effect, nuclear waste and renewable energy.
My Sust. House games are a series of games exploring what sustainability means and how it relates to our homes and communities
My Sust House can be used as a classroom activity, forming a basis for cross-curricular work, something Curriculum for Excellence encourages. Linking with experiences and outcomes from several different curriculum areas the activities within this resource can be used with individuals, groups or as a whole class.
Games can be played at: http://mysusthouse.org/
Teachers Notes that explain how the activities relate to the Curriculum for Excellence and possible class activities are available on the right hand side.