I would like someone 'cartoonly' to do a cartoon where you have a bug and a butterfly sitting outside under an arbour (hmm ... bugs don't usually hang out indoors) - looking around at all the paving and built up areas, saying:
'Errkchem .... you've got your room... And while we're on the subject, where did you put ours?'
A little bit of sarcasm is okay for green humourists, provided it's fairly good-natured, and the aim is to generate mostly good-will on behalf of the green movement, rather than the opposite!
I talk about the impact of the outdoor room phenomenon and the many ways these affect our local ecosystems at my blogspot - bloomingandbold.blogspot. From time to time there is a bit of humour, in the blog, though as with environmentalists, it is easy to diverge back on to the path of righteousness, a little too easily!
Today my son (almost 14) and I are at The Best of the Independent Games Festival at ACMI Federation Square, Melbourne which showcases (supposedly) some of the best of indie electronic game design. My son likes some of the games, and I'm particularly interested in 3 (for obvious reasons): Fez, Botanicula, and Lume. These three are particularly interesting for their eco-digitilization inspiration and content.
My son is playing on a game entitled Fez (2012) which has a little white critter sporting a red fez climbing up walls strewn with rambling vines and a digital snail pixillating across a vegetated roof (none other than an intensive roof garden).
The game is gently introducing eco-screen dreaming to the digitalized context. There is also Botanicula which as it sounds comprises botanic features, and Lume, the game (2011). This one describes itself as 'an illuminating puzzle adventure. Power to your Granddad's has failed.... Immerse yourself in Lume's photoreal world, solve perplexing paper puzzles to help restore the power ...' On one level you see a roof entirely covered with photovoltaic cells. Hmm, it isn't long and the place being full, we are being encouraged to let someone else have a turn, so I don't get to explore these games' horizons as much as I could.
It is inspirational being here, to see that game designers are factoring the eco-movement in to their visuals so that within the game you are encouraged heart and soul to remember there is a natural world in a parallel 'universe' to the electronic one, which is worthy of attention (oops my Doctor Who interest is obvious).
This is one example of what I call an eco-screen dream where creators of TV and film drama, and advertisers instil subliminal eco-signals whether it be a greener backdrop, a green product like a recycling bin, or someone taking part in a green activity like riding a scooter to the shops. Readers can scroll down to see other relevant topics such as visual imagery for screening up and eco screen dream topics on this Blog. Happy reading!
Here is a link to some Cartoon Competitions running all year out of Europe.
Scroll down to competition with the 30 June 2012 deadline and there is a competition with an 'eco-story' as a possible eco-cartoon.
'New cities' could also fit within the eco-theme framework.
We environmentalists are learning to be a lot more visual in the way we communicate our messages, which is a glorious thing, really. This is great as we are learning to use our RIGHT BRAINS more in the way we express our messages.
This topic of arousing behaviour change through our children, or through our inner child is really branching out on the internet. After all, kids and young people are obsessed with having fun, aren't they?
Hanging around kids teaches us to bring out our gaming and playful spirit, so young people can be our best resource for ideas. (I know as my 14 year old son is just games obsessed - sadly, nowadays, games of the mostly electronic kind).
Children and young person's books are a great context as well as with feature films like the Wall E movie. A good friend of mine is writing and illustrating her own books using Scribble Press, and the occasional hints (very subtle I might add) such as about picking up after yourself and avoiding littering, are done very well.
Kids can make up quizzes along the lines of subjects they find amusing - eg games, jokes or quizzes where they find out about methane gas, and fun sewerage facts (and for the littlies, blind-fold games with trees/scents, researching butterflies, frogs and which plants they figure they are attracted to). There are sustainability board games, and no doubt computer games, too, galore on these themes. But we as adults can build games, events and competitions in to our lives that inspire sustainability or that even flag it as an incidental element.
For us adults, there are competitions at work to see how much we can bring down petrol use per kilometres or miles travelled (and this can be more fun if done while car-pooling to work), fashion reborn events - where people compete in recycled period dress, elegant after-five, etc sourced from local up-market vintage or op shops. Fashion swap parties are becoming very popular - 'swishing', UK - look this up. Men can increase their networks by meeting at computer, sports or other swap events - environmental sustainability often goes hand in hand with social and economic sustainability. Get that computer item you need, and make a new friend.
So next time you're thinking - how can we make sustainability fun, why not ask your daughter or nephew - as they are more likely to be putting their right brains, and imagination to good use!
On the radio I was listening to a couple of Mer-people who were using their status as mermaids to not only entertain kids, but also to get them thinking and learning about marine life issues. Why would mermaids and mermen be seen as enticing kids and young people to take an interest in the environment? Well, they're literally immersed in it all the time, and there is something arcane and other worldly about them, that kids find fascinating. It's their nexus with nature which makes them seem like the supreme authority on their natural surroundings, so why wouldn't kids be taken in by what they say? There is that element of glamour as well which no doubt gets the audience in.
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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