Pastures NewScroll for more information
What if we could produce enough meat to feed the world, without harming animals or the environment? Would people want to eat it?
Pastures New is a speculative game set in 2036, in a world where cultured meat is widely-eaten and socially acceptable. The aim is to feed the growing population whilst maintaining the fragile ecosystem. The player must extract cells from animals, respond to their daily survival needs in vitro and nurture them into ready-to-eat meat products. If you do not grow enough meat, the population has to rely on traditional meat, which produces emissions and upsets the environmental balance.
Watch Pastures New here.
Currently, livestock is responsible for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst some people are turning to non-meat food products as a result, the World Economic Forum projects the demand for animal products will rise by up to 88% in 2050. It is abundantly clear that, in order to meet the needs of an increasing global population, we have to find more sustainable ways of producing both meat and non-meat.
One solution to this issue is cultured meat: where cells are extracted from animals and then grown under lab conditions, in order to produce “real" meat products. Supposedly, no animals are harmed during the process, very little agricultural land is needed, it uses less resources and produces fewer emissions than traditional agriculture. Cultured meat has potential to positively impact the world, but the notion of it sparks much ethical debate.
I reached out to food technology start-ups working in the space to gain their perspectives. Derin Alemli, from New Age Meats, proposes that one of the biggest barriers to winning people over to the idea of cultured meat, is to actually just try it and see how similar it tastes to meat. Cultured meat is still under development and yet to be approved for sale, so I knew I had little influence here. Instead, Pastures New sets out to initiate conversation about cultured meat and its role in our collective future.
Following on from research, I established the game’s mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics, which then translated into aims, rules and rewards. Whilst the game environment is abstract in design, it draws upon the dual visual language of ‘the farm’ and ‘the laboratory’, and references the cultured meat process. The final result is a 3D animated trailer which provides a snapshot into the Pastures New world.
ABOUT JESSICA MUMBY-PRICE
Jessica is a multidisciplinary creative who is interested in how design can have a positive impact on people and the planet. After graduating with a 1st in Graphic and Media Design from London College of Communication in 2021, Jessica is now a full-time designer at Johnson Banks in South London.
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