Green video games becoming popular downloads for media devices

With the growing popularity of iPhones and the web games that accompany them, it was only a matter of time before the low cost of production allowed game developers to spread an environmental message as well as providing an engaging experience. Green games have become a tool for non-profit and eco-friendly groups as an effective way to spread their message about living a sustainable lifestyle, according to USA Today.

"Many different organizations want to put out green messages, be associated with the environmental movement and develop competence and conviction in saving energy," Clark Aldrich, author of Learning Online with Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds, told the news source. "Both the inclusion of emotion and engagement make the messages stickier, and it speaks the language of the students."

Green games, or those that carry an environmental message, are not something new in the digital world. The classic SimCity forced players to deal with pollution and traffic congestion, and encouraged users to develop public transportation systems to improve air quality.

Today's video game world has shifted slightly from the console format to handheld devices. One such game, Eco Mania, is meant for children and places a series of items on a conveyor belt and they have to choose which recycling bin to place it in. This can be an excellent teaching tool and can give a child a far more visually engaging way to learn about reusing common household products.

Video games are a medium to communicate a certain point of view much like television or the Internet, but its the ability to control that world that sets them apart. The growing popularity of web games, free downloads and apps will make spreading an environmental agenda far easier for advocacy groups.