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The game of tactical ecology

Grro: life on the edge!

Cool Factors:
  • fast paced fun
  • easy to learn
  • game of strategy

Based on ecology, tactical and easy to learn, Grro is a fun game full of strategy and depth. Are you ready for it?

The Origins of the game:

Began in 2003 when constant news of degraded landscapes, deforestation on every continent led the game designer to think of a simple landscaping method to capture rainwater to grow trees (see figure below). Further investigation revealed that for decades, Prof. Wangari Mathai, an African scientist, had led efforts reforesting 47 millions trees in Kenya alone and spread the Greenbelt Movement worldwide to reforest degraded lands- Prof Wangari Mathai would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The game designer, meanwhile had heard Wangari while she was on conference tour and in year 2003 wrote, what may well be, one of the first Green science fiction story, Soil Mechanics. The piece of prose was published in Creative Brothers publication and appeared on various websites over the years.

That short story premise was a coming of age tale, of kids in an orphanage/monastery dedicated to preserving and growing trees at a deserts edge. It would serve as the main source of inspiration for the game Grro. Strangely enough unbeknownest to the author fiction meets fact with the existence over centuries of church forests aka "coptic forests" in North Africa according to an article at the Public Library of Science

"Followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Churches have been tending groves of trees -- from a handful of acres to 300 hectares -- for hundreds of years, in the process preserving some of the few remnants of the country's historical Afromontane forests".

These types of efforts, and the story Soil Mechanics inspired the creation of Grro, the game. The game itself is easy to learn but is rooted in the science and basis of ecological succession: a well known observed principle of the cumulative establishment and formation plant types transition to old growth forests from grassland. It can be played by 2 or more players aged 7+ on any grid size. A DIY version allows the use of regular coins intead of tokens or chips (sign up for newsletter on FAQ page  and get free pdf file of games rules and printable grid sheet).

Cross sectional view of the 2003 continuous sheet planter design.