Oil Sands in Canada and the Online Game that Shows Life There: Fort McMoney

Oil Sands in Canada and the Online Game that Shows Life There: Fort McMoney

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The world's most important energy resource is oil. It is the driving source for the economic growth of any country and the principal fuel for the world's transportation system. The second largest oil reservoir in the world is the oil sands of Canada, in the heart of Alberta. The oil sector is the largest and the fastest growing sector in Canada. Oil sands contribute to the economic growth and at the same time contribute immensely towards environmental degradation. Due to the benefits this sector provides, the problems associated with it have not been dealt with severity. To showcase the actual scenario and how it is to be living in a place near the oil sands, Fort McMoney, an online game, does the job very well. It portraits the living conditions of a place called Fort McMurray known for the oil sands development. Fort McMurray was known as a place of fur trade in the past but in the recent times, it has gained the name as the ‘boom town’ because of the fast paced developments taking place in the oil sands. There lie many issues within Fort McMurray that are unheard of and the game tries to bring those to the front line. These issues suggest that the oil sands are in fact depleting the city from within and many are unaware of it.

Background on Oil Sands
Oil sands are an important asset in Canada. World’s second largest reservoir lies here in Canada, in the province of Alberta. Due to the high demand of petroleum and petroleum-based products, the rate at which the oil is extracted has increased tremendously over the past few years. The investments in oil sands industry has increased from $10.6 billion in 2009 to $17.2 billion in 2012, a staggering 63 percent increase in just a single year (http://www.energy.alberta...

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...lms and articles about the oil industries but people did not get motivated and hardly cared about it (financial post). He stated that he wanted to do the SimCity for real (cbc.ca), showing that he wanted to centralize the focus on getting people involved in this serious issue. As my time and involvement progressed with the game, I learnt something new about the oil industries. I was very much accustomed to the basic impacts caused by the oil sands but to know the details about it’s involvement politically, socially and economically was quite astonishing. The more I learnt about the oil sands, the more I faded away from being in favour of the industries. The experience I got from playing Fort McMoney changed my views towards the oil and energy sector and therefore it was a very effective factor to convey the message, which could otherwise not be known to the public.

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