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Year of Sustainability launches educational game inspired by UAE’s natural landscape

Year of Sustainability launches educational game inspired by UAE’s natural landscape
22 Apr 2024 16:58


Coinciding with Earth Day, the UAE’s Year of Sustainability announced the launch of Estidama Craft, a unique interactive world designed to encourage children to learn about sustainability through an immersive gaming experience.

Inspired by the UAE’s beautiful natural landscape and biodiversity, Estidama Craft guides players towards sustainable behavioural change and is available for download on Minecraft Education and Minecraft Marketplace. The classroom version of the game is accompanied by five unique lesson plans that educate players on sustainability.

The lesson plans, presented alongside the game, introduce unique educational concepts such as composting organic waste. They shed light on environmental challenges such as desertification, mangrove degradation, and habitat loss, offering valuable insights into how responsible consumption, conservation, and climate action can help mitigate climate change.

Teachers can utilise these lesson plans for engaging and interactive learning experiences.

Estidama Craft’s World: 5 Biomes

Estidama Craft’s world consists of five different biomes representing the UAE’s terrains, including the Desert, the Marine, Coastal Regions, Mountains and the City. Each biome showcases detailed design elements inspired by the UAE’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems, such as the Arabian oryx, mangroves and camels.

Players are presented with several challenges in each biome that need to be resolved with sustainability as the key objective in mind. For instance, in The City biome, the game addresses the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling by requiring players to collect waste from around the city, segregate it into proper recycling bins and use organic matter to develop compost which will be used to build garden beds and grow fruits and vegetables in the game.

In The Mountains biome, players will help relocate animals such as the Arabian wolf, Arabian tahr and Arabian leopard – whose habitats have been fragmented by the construction of the dam – and identify proper habitats for each animal to relocate them to. Players will also design an eco-adventure reserve that educates players about UAE’s wildlife and the importance of conservation.

Ayesha Bin Haider, Member of the Creative Team at the Year of Sustainability, worked closely with the game developers to ensure that the game’s design elements accurately reflect the UAE’s ecosystems, paying attention to details such as character designs, and even incorporating upcycled costumes.

Highlighting the importance of video games as an educational tool, Bin Haider said, “In line with Earth Day, we are launching a whole new world on Minecraft called 'Estidama Craft.' This is one of the most adored children's games, created from a didactic perspective that revolves around sustainability in the UAE context, while still preserving its immersive and entertaining dimensions.

Hence, Estidama Craft contains guided lesson plans for educators and parents alike to be used as a learning tool in classrooms and at home. Inspired by the legacy of our ancestors, we aim to instil sustainable behavioural change from a young age so that the current generation can learn the importance of sustainability in preserving our planet for the future."

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