SKULD — An Accelerated Environmental Simulation to Visualize Potential Futures

For NODE20, the team of researchers in Natural Computing and Deep Simulation at Norn Lab (University of Oldenberg) has collaborated with game designers to present a public, collaborative version of SKULD — an accelerated environmental simulation to visualize potential futures. Over the course of NODE’s opening weekend, the festival audience will get to decide how we transition into a sustainable future — or if.

The world’s first democratic environmental simulation, SKULD visualizes natural resources management and ecological impact as part of a complex and dynamic ecosystem moderated by individual ideologies. Developed by the team of Prof. Norn at the university of Oldenberg, the interface will be adapted for NODE20 as a participative broadcast, during which visitors’ personal choices directly alter a global landscape where environmental action collides with political trends, cultural artefacts and technological band-aids. Based on an adaptive script, this “negotiate your own adventure” game emulates world dynamics into a regularly-updated visual feed and specialist commentary.

Can you turn off enough lightbulbs to save humanity, or will future trees grow on the ashes of civilization? Remains to be seen!