The sudden growth of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania in less than ten years was made possible by combining two technologies: directional (e.g. horizontal) drilling and hydraulic fracturing (commonly “fracking”.) Although fracking has been the subject of much media attention, directional drilling may influence the shape of the landscape more—through the location of wells and the roads, water impoundments and pipelines that accompany them. Everyone deserves the benefits of job opportunities, the income to afford education and healthcare for families, but they also deserve an environment free from pollution, flooding, excess traffic and no loss of wildlife, good fishing or fine scenery.
The Marcellus region is comprised of small communities who want to have a say in their future shape—they want to be designers too. However, each location is going to have its own unique needs. There’s a really good chance that we won’t be prepared with the appropriate analysis so we are proposing an approach that will help us understand the things that are important to us, understand how changing some things in the environment affects others, and making sure that we have the right questions ready to ask the landman or DEP official when they come by.
We use stories and games. Stories are the foundations for how we understand places, they reveal our values that then shape our designs. Games are about rules and they can show us how elements in the environment interact, some may “win” others may “lose.”
The Landman Cometh: An everyday story of Marcellus-land
Where Should the Pipeline Go? A Serious Game
Well and Pipeline Placement Simulator: A Game-like GIS interface
Why Games? Some academic background