Connected Worlds is an immersive, interactive ecosystem that was designed for the New York Hall of Science. It’s an installation of six smaller ecosystems, actually—all of which are connected, much like real ecosystems are. The difference here is that the environments only exist on massive screens connected by a 3,000-ft² interactive floor.

Kids can plant seeds with their hands and use logs to create water movement. The goal is for kids to work together to distribute water to each area in the system by diverting streams with logs and using living plants to absorb or manage water flow. The system includes the cycle of evaporation and weather. Healthy ecosystems will begin to produce animal life, as well!

Connected Worlds was designed by Design I/O in collaboration with the New York Hall of Science. Game designer Zach Gage consulted for the project.

“My biggest pushes were for ensuring that the takeaways for children were experiential (to be unpacked later with educators/family members/friends) rather than a set of point-by-point facts or statistics,” Gage wrote. “I strongly believe that part of the power of games is that they can convey experiences, not just lessons, and that experiences can be key in teaching certain topics that are too complex to ever truly understand—in this case, systems thinking.”

What do you think? Do you want something like this in your local science museum?


This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.