Released in 1990, Chris Crawford’s Balance of the Planet is a policy simulation game that asks players to influence the development of the planet by demotivating or incentivising behaviour through taxes and subsidies.
How to Play: Today, you can play the game in your browser by heading over to the Internet Archive’s repository of the game. Take your time to explore the “ancient” game interface via the different options in the game menu on the top left. The game starts in the year 1990. The Results page (Keyboard shortcut “r”) shows you how you’re currently doing. Read and modify policies currently in effect on the Policy Sumary page (Keyboard shortcut “p”). Once you’re happy with your changes, click on “Execute Policies” in the menu (Keyboard shortcut “e”) to move ahead 5 years and see the new results. You only have 9 turns in total! For the extra-adventurous: Click on “Formulas” to modify how the game calculates the effects of your decisions.
Q & A: Chris Crawford will be answering questions about the game and its history on the Now Play This community forum. Just ask your questions in this thread – Chris will check in from time to time during the festival!