If you cannot tell one tree from another, a new “environmental bonding” card game, GREENERDot, could help kickstart your education on Singapore’s diverse flora.
GREENERDot is “a game to educate all Singaporeans about environmental issues in Singapore”, according to its designer, Nanyang Polytechnic student Pang Yu Han.
The 18-year-old came up with the game after signing up for the Bayer Young Environmental Programme 2012, a programme for tertiary students that aims to help ease environmental issues in Singapore.
“I thought this would be a good chance for me to really help the earth,” she said. “I wanted a game – I think games help people learn better.”
The name GREENERDot is a play on words, explained Yu Han: “By being a green nerd, you can make our little red dot, Singapore, a greener dot.”
The game features a deck of 50 cards and gameplay involves collecting sets of “Green Spaces” and growing plants on them. The Green Spaces feature popular parks in Singapore, such as the recently launched Gardens By The Bay, and each contains a description of the park’s history.
Trees are grown using “Sapling”, “Compost” and “Adult Tree” cards, each with a description for players to learn more about growing a plant. Some of Singapore’s common trees are also featured with descriptions.
The game also has “Impact Cards” that can affect the growing process, with positives such as “Reforestation” and negatives such as “Pollution”. Players can defeat the negatives by playing a “Change Agent” card.
“The real Change Agents are humans. If we do our part, we can get rid of negative impacts on the environment and save the earth,” she said.
Yu Han designed all the cards herself, which took a whole week with barely any sleep. Before she designed the game, Yu Han was “not very concerned about the environment”.
But since starting on the game, she has become an active member of the Nanyang Polytechnic Geo Council, a CCA that helps equip students with environmental knowledge.
While she said that the current environmental situation in Singapore is “quite healthy”, she feels that awareness has to be raised to prevent things from deteriorating.
For Yu Han, GREENERDot is just the first step towards a green future.
“My long-term aim is to do something different from others and to help the world,” she said.