Trash Tycoon on Facebook makes fun-loving, eco-capitalists of us all

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Trash Tycoon loading screen
Are you a big believer in social games for social good? It's true that FarmVille has recycling, but game studio Talkie proved it works when it issued a challenge to players of their game, Ecotopia, asking them to plant 25,000 in-game virtual trees that led to Talkie's contribution of 25,000 trees for real rainforests in São Paulo, Brazil.
Trash Tycoon: It's Eco-Capitalism
Now, another eco-friendly, trash-picking game on Facebook, TrashTycoon, has finally been released by GuerillaApps after being in private beta since June. The goal of the game is exactly what it sounds like, which is to build a business empire through trash management. As it says on the game's official Facebook page:
In a distant, but not so unrealistic future, where people have abandoned your town because it has become covered with trash, you the player, have been left to clean up the mess; So grab this trash picker, invite your friends and start to clean up your trash-strewn town to become the Willy Wonka of the garbage business.
Describing the game as the "Willy Wonka of the garbage business" might be going a bit far, because the game's style isn't imbued with anything mysterious or eccentric. But the company that sponsored the game, TerraCycle, is known for "upcycling" and making products out of weird things. Namely, these include used food wrappers from things like M&M's and Oreo cookies. In the Facebook game, players collect trash and occasionally find treasures, profit from fertilizer generated from their own worm farms, clean up ramshackle houses and will have the opportunity to do some in-game upcycling of their own. As the game says, "It's Eco-Capitalism!"

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Of course, being a wealthy eco-captialist involves philanthropy and when you use Facebook Credits to pay for anything in the game, TerraCycle will donate 10 percent of the game's monthly revenue to CarbonFund.org, a non-profit organization devoted to reducing humanity's carbon footprint on Earth.
Trash Tycoon chat
Another novelty about TrashTycoon is that you can chat with friends in-game. This makes use of Facebook's new games ticker to let you know when friends are playing online. (So far, I've only seen this feature in Kixeye's Backyard Monsters and Gogogic's Vikings of Thule.) While I haven't been able to test it out myself, due to the game still being buggy in beta, this feature is tied into one of the game components which allows you to build a team of players for bigger trash-collecting payouts.
Trash Tycoon TerraCycle Team
In fact, if you're part of the TerraCycle organization in the real world, you can get a code from your team leader and join an official team. So with all these cool features, how fun is TrashTycoon? Not too much, and again, it's because of those pesky bugs due to it being in open beta. It doesn't run smoothly and miscounts how many actions you've taken.

Even worse, often your character or the whole game would freeze. But as you can see, the artwork is beautiful, the concept is sound, the game educates, contributes to the well-being of the world, and has social elements up the wazoo. We're really rooting for this one to do better.

[Hat-tip: NYTimes.com Green Blog]

Click here to play TrashTycoon on Facebook >>

Have you played TrashTycoon yet? What do you think of social games for good in general? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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