Game imagines ecological disaster for Minneapolis

Updated: October 6, 2014 - 5:16 pm

"Ruination: City of Dust" challenges participants to think critically about their city and the environment

There’s nothing like a science fiction-themed, live action role playing game — on bicycles — to get people thinking critically about the environment, right?

That’s the idea behind “Ruination: City of Dust,” a game that challenges teams of up to six players to imagine themselves as archaeologists exploring Minneapolis in the year 2314, when the city is nothing more than parched ruins. The teams have to figure out what went wrong.

To put on “Ruination,” the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board teamed with Northern, the organization behind the Northern Spark all-night summer art event. The game itself is the work of Ken Eklund, a San Jose, Calif., based game designer.

Northern Project Coordinator Ady Olson said the goal is to make participants “think critically about the city, about the environment and about their surroundings.”

Up to 64 teams can join the game Oct. 18–19. They’ll travel by bicycle along Minnehaha Creek to gather clues, riding around 5 miles during the two to three hours it will take to complete “Ruination,” she said.

For more information, or to register, go to