Journey to the End of Coal

Part documentary, part game, Journey to the End of Coal is a stirring experience that brings the harsh reality of coal extraction directly to the user. Journey to the end of coal was a project that started in 2008 under two French authors, Abel Ségrétin and Samuel Bollendorff, with the goal of creating an interactive experience that weaved in authentic experience and testimonials for maximum educational value and impact. It is a first-person experience, with some latitude for the user to choose their own adventure, with their choices impacting their character and their journey in, through, or out of the Chinese coal mining industry. The authors collected a variety of multimedia to insert into the game, including videos, pictures, and in-person interviews. Journey to the End of Coal shows both the detriment to the environment, but also the human toll of harsh resource extraction. In the end, the user will hopefully feel an expanded sense of ecological consciousness and empathy that will transfer to their daily attitudes towards coal and energy consumption. One lingering question is whether or not the proceeds from the game have gone to benefit the people who were interviewed, seeing as their testimony and experiences were made an integral part of the game. One possible missing component is that there doesn’t seem to be a function for a user to be connected with a group or outlet that is pushing for meaningful change in the industry and for a shift away from coal as a global energy resource.


Aesthetic/Leisure, Regulation