Interview of the Week: Michelle Olson

A 2018 Pew poll found that 43% of U.S. adults say they often or sometimes play video games. With so many people–and young people specifically— spending time gaming, wouldn’t it be great if games taught values like respect for nature? That’s where Michelle Olson comes in, a video game designer of the new game Beasts of Maravilla Island that encourages conservation and exploration of the natural world as well as the digital one. Take a listen to what it means to be a “values-driven designer” and how nature inspired Michelle to build this stunning new world:

The biggest reason why I wanted to make this game is that I’m a huge lover of the natural world and also a lover of video games. But I’ve always been so disappointed at the lack of opportunity in video games to engage with magical creatures in non-violent ways. Even games that have a positive spin on magical creatures, like Pokémon, you’re battling them! That’s kind of how it is in a lot of video games and it breaks my heart.

I really wanted to make a game where you can experience the wonder, awe, and joy, of these magical creatures but celebrate them and appreciate them instead of engaging with them in violent ways.”

Up Next

Tokyo 2020 Competition Heats Up, Literally

Tokyo 2020 Competition Heats Up, Literally

You may recall our interview with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn where she explained the threat that climate change poses to winter olympic sports like hers. Now that the Tokyo Summer Olympics are underway, it’s all the more evident that climate change will continue affecting summer sports in a similar fashion. In Tokyo specifically, where climate […]

Continue Reading 507 words

Interview of the Week: Shanna Edberg, Hispanic Access Foundation

This week is Latino Conservation Week–a yearly initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation that helps support the Latino community getting into the outdoors and participating in activities to protect our natural resources. While Latinos are a broad group, polls show they share a common concern for environmental protection, yet have traditionally been unrecognized for their […]

Continue Reading 170 words
Envisioning a Civilian Climate Corps

Envisioning a Civilian Climate Corps

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Echoing back to the Civilian Conservation Corps of last century, a Civilian Climate Corps would employ young people across the country in government jobs taking on the climate crisis. The modern corps concept has been introduced as legislation by Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur since 2008 and was articulated as […]

Continue Reading 453 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.