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Water, Water Everywhere: A Global Connector

Recreating the power of this unique resource in a digital world.

With about 71% of the earth’s surface covered by water in one form or another it’s no surprise that it is frequently found in our online worlds. Water is referred to in many ways. In some, it is dramatic and full of secrets of the deep, in others it trickles and gently flows bringing life to natural surroundings. But we believe its greatest quality is the connection it creates. 

In nature, water is not just valuable for humans but also for plants, animals, and shaping the land. It is the thing that keeps grass green and helps trees grow to magnificent heights. It also serves as a watering hole for local animals and plants bringing wildlife to meet for one common purpose—to hydrate. In our previous article, we pointed out that humans are on average 60% water. This means that water, in one form or another, has to play a role in the world around us—and online worlds are no exception. 

In gaming, water can take many forms. RPG (role-player games) often use water as a measure of health, highlighting the importance that water is a crucial part of staying active when taking on adventures both big and small. Farming-simulation games are a great example of water being required in online nature. Without watering crops, much like in real life, plants wither and die and it is the player's role to manage and care for the needs of the unique plants and any farmyard animals. No matter the location—a desert, a forest, or a beach—water will appear. 

Another moment water appears in gaming is to explore. Swimming or the use of  boats unlock new corners of maps and, much like in the real world, allows players to experience different terrains, foods and cultures. But sometimes travel can be more creative. For example, in Pokémon, water type Pokémon can be taught to swim allowing players to explore without the need for a ferry and opening the door to even more unique experiences on other lands and at sea. 

Look at any map of the world and you will notice, water is often defined by the countries it separates. But what if we were to flip this narrative and see water as our global connector?

In the WoU game, all things “water” have been designed with purpose. Our game guide, NOLA, was inspired by water’s fluidity to create a being that was not rigidly defined by any single appearance of any one location or gender. Water in WoU can also grow seeds—much like in farming-simulation games—except with an added twist of requiring collaboration with other players. It’s also how players will travel. Waterways that connect the lands are the fastest way to explore. Most importantly, the water we have designed is inspired by human and natural truths. Not just how we use it but how it looks and sounds. Researching our real world opened our eyes to how we want water to be interacted with in the World of Us. 

Next in our series, we’ll be diving deeper into how the WoU game will be using water to connect players and encourage exploration. 

The World of Us Info editorial team comprises a global network of creative minds, makers, writers and industry experts. The team strives to research with enquiry and openness at its core, while constantly searching for opportunities to exchange knowledge and expand as a community.

If you enjoyed this exploration, continue the journey with our "Water, Water, Everywhere" series here