CO2FX is a ‘game’ about national policies and the carbon dioxide effects. You have responsibility for the science, economic and policy decisions for a national government. It’s very playable, although figuring your way through the interface takes a lot of exploration and experimentation.
The assessment that it’s a game is somewhat problematic; I claim that the designer can’t claim it’s a game, only players can determine whether it is (it’s a subjective assessment). Using my terminology, it’s a scenario (a simulation is just a model; it’s a scenario when you wrap an initial state and a goal state, possiblly with a story; it’s a game when you tune the experience to engagement).
The experience is certainly challenging, and there’s novelty in that what you do doesn’t seem to have the effect you inferred from the feedback, but the overall drama felt lacking; I didn’t feel quite the sense of urgency or outcomes; e.g. my popularity seemed to be waning, even though there was great economic growth, but I didn’t hear rumbles of dissent or have to weather bad press.
It’s a great example of what can, and should, be done, but it doesn’t stand on it’s own (it’d benefit from some ‘wrapping’ around the goals, to scaffold the learning, and to support post-hoc reflection). Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s great educational value, but I think the claim of it being a game is a wee bit premature.
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