World of Us – a game-changing blend of education, culture & environmental advocacy

At TALES, we’ve been exploring whether education and gaming can be combined. More importantly, we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding out how this combination can be achieved.

In the early days of the pandemic, our multimedia production team came together to determine the type of content most suitable for the rapidly changing world. We quickly decided to focus on producing engaging content that brings together environmental awareness, global citizenship, and cultural appreciation. Our mission has always been to create intersectional environmental campaigns that are uplifting rather than fear-spreading, and one of our most important audiences is children.

In an increasingly digital world, where children’s environmental awareness can lead to eco-anxiety or even eco-depression, we wondered how engaging content could generate hope. We quickly concluded that the gaming industry was where we should operate.

Gaming is a massive industry, with around 3.22 billion individuals worldwide engaging in video gaming. This number is expected to grow to 3.8 billion by 2030. However, despite the gender divide being roughly equal among players, only 24% of the gaming workforce consists of women. Diversity in other demographics also shows low participation in game development worldwide. This imbalance limits innovation, perpetuates unfair stereotypes, and drives away talent.

We believe that diversity in gaming enriches the cultural landscape and drives significant financial growth. As diversity and representation in gaming become more prominent, they open new markets and expand the consumer base. Games presenting many perspectives become cultural artifacts that reflect and shape societal values, advancing a more inclusive global culture.

Our current project, the World of Us Game (estimated soft launch: 2024), is dedicated to intersectional awareness. The first edition features four of the most biodiverse and ecologically important biomes on our planet. This journey has brought incredible learnings from indigenous communities involved in the process, as well as from industry experts striving for anti-racism and true equity and inclusion for marginalized narratives.

We are building our game based on co-creation principles, which involves several key stages:

  1. The Library of Myths (LoM): Our journey started years ago with the creation of LoM, symbolizing our collective attempt to capture stories directly from the source. We collaborated closely with researchers and indigenous communities across Romania, Brazil, Congo, and India. We curated nearly 200 previously undocumented myths, developing a manual system with metatags and genre-specific markers to facilitate cross-categorization and streamline our database for further exploration by our creative team.
  2. Build our World (BoW): This series of workshops combines playtesting with digital literacy knowledge exchange. While imparting these skills to children, we deepen our understanding of our primary audience—children aged 8 and above. Collaborating with partners like the Redi School in Germany and Afrogames in Brazil, we continuously refine the curriculum to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.
  3. Participatory Art Direction (PAD): We conducted expeditions in four biodiverse regions: Danube Delta (Romania), Kouilou (Congo), Acre (Brazil), and Kerala (India). These immersions into local cultures gathered digital creators and local experts, translating outcomes into digital assets for the game. Each piece of fauna, flora, folklore, and myth is calibrated with unique firsthand experiences.
  4. The LAB: This platform unites mentorship, knowledge exchange, and the development of mini-games to populate one of the WoU Game lands. Targeting young developers in the same localities, it connects digital experiences, gamified narratives, and local mythologies. Artists benefit from a personalized curriculum designed to equip them with skills for the competitive gaming industry, enabling them to prototype their perspectives of representation through simple logic games showcased in the WoU.

To spread this awareness further, we have built a knowledge hub where we publish editorials on topics that truly require more attention. This hub is designed for parents, educators, and anyone involved in raising young minds. Our topics range from reappropriating versus reappreciation of words and how to address this when speaking to children, to the history of the avatar.

All these topics are dedicated to the future of our past. A future that we truly believe will thrive on a global community, using the digital world to bring us closer together rather than drift further apart. We proudly invite you to join us and hope to see you there:

This knowledge hub will soon also host the actual game. Until then, we will keep updating this page with relevant subjects for 21st-century upbringing.


Where Storytelling Sparks Change

TALES is an international, non-profit multimedia initiative dedicated to sharing stories that broaden our perspectives and connect worlds. We merge production expertise with storytelling to craft multimedia content that celebrates diverse cultures, empowers ecological education, and fosters a deeper connection to our shared humanity and environment.

Our Mission: is to spotlight and conserve environmental and heritage narratives that inspire and educate the next generation of changemakers.

Our Approach: Representation is at our core. We practice inclusive co-creation, involving community partners in every aspect of story creation to ensure authenticity. Our motto is: “Nothing about us, without us, is for us.”