How we can change the world with games
Start screen of the computer game »Balance of the Planet« by Chris Crawford, 1990.
Game designer and author Chris Crawford in conversation with Dominik Rinnhofer
Tue, October 05, 2021 7 pm – 8 pm CEST, Talk
Language: English

Chris Crawford has been developing computer games since the 1980s – among others with ecological themes. How important is the topic for him nowadays and what has changed since back then? How should games be designed today to be ecologically effective?

    Chris Crawford is an American computer game developer and author. He was one of the best-known game developers in the 1980s and an early proponent of computer games as an art form. In 1987, he founded the »Computer Game Developers Conference» – now the »Game Developers Conference« – one of the world's most important professional conferences for the computer game industry. In addition to works such as  »Eastern Front (1941)« and »Balance of Power«, he also designed and programmed the game »Balance of the Planet«, which is exhibited in the section »Eco Games« in the exhibition »zkm_gameplay. the next level«

    Dominik Rinnhofer – curator of the section »Eco Games« – poses the following questions for discussion:

    • What drove Chris Crawford to develop Eco Games like »Balance of the Planet«?
    • How can games be used to communicate complex issues?
    • How should Eco Games be designed today to be effective? 
    • What has changed in the last 40 years in terms of computer games and ecology?


    Dominik Rinnhofer, Professor of Game Design, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart
    Chris Crawford Game Designer and Author


    Erasmatazz is a blog maintained by Chris Crafword, where he regularly publishes texts on various topics since 1966.

    Balance of the Planet

    What has to be done to keep the world‘s oceans clean? How will biodiversity be maintained? You start in 1990. Find out how the interplay between research, finances and the use of resources is changing our planet.


    zkm_gameplay. the next level
    The game platform at the ZKM. Discover the new area »level 5: Eco Games«!
    The event via livestream
    Organization / Institution
    ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe