Your Mission in virtual reality
Explore the remnants of Mer, a magical lost civilization, and bring it back to life by overcoming challenges, planting vibrant coral gardens and lowering your real world CO footprint.
Some of the places, you will adventure, create and transform.
Lost City of Mer is a cross-platform interactive experience
that combines a smartphone app with VR.
The project utilizes a groundbreaking living narrative structure
where your real-world actions impact the story that unfolds in VR.
The phone app, which directly interfaces with the VR world,
enables you to win rewards in the virtual world, through
cutting carbon emissions in the real world.
Watch the Lost City of Mer Trailer
The mysterious underwater Mer civilization and much of its flora
and fauna have been destroyed. You are the first Mer Baby born
in decades. Athina, a baby seal, befriends you and takes you
on a journey through the remnants of the metropolis.
Do you have what it takes to bring Mer and her otherworldly inhabitants back to life?
You swim, using unique navigation developed especially for the
game, and witness the devastating effects of ocean temperature
rise and acidification which have ruined Mer’s ecosystem. Information bubbles explain climate change science (coming soon
in Chapter Two) and gameplay rewards action such as planting
coral and reducing your carbon footprint. The more you invest in
positive action and life creation, the more vibrant and stunning
the ecosystem will become.
The Evolution and Extinction of Aquaprimates
Mer are aquaprimates. Physical and genetic similarities show that the modern Mer species has a very close relationship to homo sapiens. They share a common ancestor that lived between 8 and 6 million years ago. The first aquaprimates evolved off the coast of Africa in the Red Sea.
Paralleling the biological evolution of early Mer was the development of cultural technologies that allowed them to become increasingly successful at acquiring food and surviving predators. Advances in the Coral Age saw the development of high technology, sophisticated architecture and advanced science.
Playful and secretive in nature, the Mer kept their elaborate civilization hidden from homo sapiens. Humans long suspected their existence and records of Mer sightings go back thousands of years. They are known for their ability to sing in the most alluring way and generate an enthrallment with nature. Unfortunately, due to recent ocean acidification and temperature rise, the Mer are thought to be extinct.
Built on Climate Change Science
Lost City of Mer is built on science in order to educate and
activate the general public about the threat climate change poses
to the health of our planet. Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species and are one of the most important ecosystems
on earth. It is estimated that by 2050 most of them will be gone
if there is not large scale action.
In Lost City of Mer learn about ocean temperature rise
and acidification, the threat posed by pollution,
over-fishing and solutions.
Coming Soon in Chapter Two
Your Mer scientist mom left clues in bubble messages for you about why the Mer civilization collapsed, and what actions
to take to bring it back to life.
For example, this bubble explains the carbon cycle and what you can do about it in the human realm when you are on land.
Coral Planting has shown to be a viable method for restoring some dying reefs.
Design your own coral garden, and watch as it revives the ecosystem with exotic sea creatures.
Photo Credit: Smithsonian
Polluted water pours into The Secret Coral Garden, the only place in Mer that is still alive. Can you stop the pollution and save the reef?
A science bubble reveals that industrial agriculture is pouring reactive nitrogen and phosphorous into the oceans through rivers, creating “ocean dead zones”. We have the ability to rectify coastal pollution by changing farming practices.
The Secret Coral Garden
Carbon Dioxide Meter
Functionality Coming Soon in Chapter Two
The CO and water temperature meter responds to the player's real world actions to lower their carbon
footprint as a form of gameplay and informs players about the impact of carbon on the ocean.
Lost City of Mer was created in Unreal Engine for HTC Vive. The smartphone app is available for Apple and Android devices. If you would like to be a beta tester email
Auckland University of Technology