(Real) Academic Literature for Eco's In-Game Managemnt and Possible Design Inspiration


  • I've got a cache of books that may be relevant for both players and designers/programmers of Eco. They're mainly based in political science, political economy, agent based modeling, and the nexus of humanity and nature. I hope you find these titles helpful and maybe help influence and/or inspire the design and play of the game. Enjoy! :)

    "The Origins of Wealth", Beinhocker.
    "People and Forests", Gibson, McKean, Ostrom
    "Complexity and the Art of Public Policy", Colander, Kupers
    "Growing Artificial Societies", Epstein, Axtell
    "Governing the Commons", Ostrom
    "Agent Based Models", Gilbert
    "Social Network Analysis", Knocke, Yang

    I'll add to the list if I find more. Feel free to post your own books. :)


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  • Ooo those do sounds awesome. Did you list them off in the order of preference?



  • Nope.



  • Ooo - good picks! I'd add a few here that are ideologically a fit to what i think Eco is trying to get across as well

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. A telepathic gorilla shares how human society got to where it is. Really fun read, hits on a lot of the concepts from the Kickstarter page

    Biogea by Michel Serres - more of an epitaph of ecology than anything else, it's a short inspirational read

    Cannibal Metaphysics - discusses the anthopological implications of the drastically different views of the world for tribes prior to colonial era (and some that exist today).

    Think Like a Commoner - dives not so deep but effectively into the lost concept of the commons and how the commons is still around even if the concept seems antiquated.

    The Power at the End of The Economy, by brian Massumi - While people believe that 'rational self interest' tends to govern economic matters, Massumi plays with this and pushes the idea that emotional choices have always been the hidden subject for those in economics. I really liked this and it's a fun read.

    How Forests Think - this, to me, is basically the ethos of Eco in book form. Totally worth a read.

    Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World - a hugely influenctial book for my own creative thinking, the author argues - ehhhhh, let me steal from the amazon page:

    hyperobjects show that the end of the world has already occurred in the sense that concepts such as world, nature, and even environment are no longer a meaningful horizon against which human events take place. Instead of inhabiting a world, we find ourselves inside a number of hyperobjects, such as climate, nuclear weapons, evolution, or relativity. Such objects put unbearable strains on our normal ways of reasoning.Insisting that we have to reinvent how we think to even begin to comprehend the world we now live in, Hyperobjects takes the first steps, outlining a genuinely postmodern ecological approach to thought and action.



  • Some really great stuff here. Ordered "The Origins of Wealth" to start.



  • "Superbia!", by Dan Chrias and Dave Wann, is a book of practical ideas for creating more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods. It is about remaking suburban and urban neighborhoods to serve people better and to reduce human impact on the environment.

    The authors first trace the history of the suburbs, showing how they fail to meet many peoples’ needs. They then describe how existing neighborhoods can be transformed, offering cohousing and new urbanist communities as examples. The reader is then guided through the transformation of a fictitious neighborhood that adopts the authors’ thirty-one steps. Ideas for the blossoming of the suburb are described in order of difficulty, from easy to boldest.


    The "ecology of commerce", by Paul Hawking (of The Rocky Mountain Institute... <3 ) may give you some ideas for developing a functional eco-economy, rather than having us try to force ordinary trading practices into a game that does not need them and are currently largely bypassed.

    And of course, the Grand Champion, "Slow Money" by Woody Tasch, is a must read for the locally-focused, eco conscious minds, who wish to understand how to remake the world for local strength and resilience, using local food and fertility to drive local business.


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