Keeping the Maldives Clean!

Games for social change

“Keeping the Maldives Clean” is a game where trash-like objects fall from the sky. The objective is to shift these trash-like objects onto the adjoining island, therefore maintaining the primary island’s trash-free status. Despite the fact that the objective is simple and clear, the player cannot win. This is due to the fact that the rate at which these trash-like objects fall from the sky exceeds the speed of the trash which can be cleared by the player.


As we can observe from the title, “Keeping the Maldives clean”, this game focuses on the Maldives Island and the issues that surround the environment of the island itself. Every year, 75 million tourists visit Male city in the Maldives, and the adjoining island, Thilsafushi Island, has become the primary destination for trash removed from Male city for the last 20 years. The issue lies with tourists who visit Male city. Yet, the bigger issue is the volume of trash that is being allocated into Male city, and moreover, the environmental dangers it poses on Male city and the adjoining island.


This game does not take place in the Maldives, but is rather based on an Island that I had visited for a trip during my vacation in the Pacific Ocean. I was enchanted by the exotic beauty of the island, and as a tourist, having experienced littering and pollution during my stay, I was led to complex and complicated thoughts about the issue. Despite the fact that I was immersed in my own thoughts and about the issue of pollution, I did not want to express this issue with other tourists. My intentions towards the issue of pollution were subtle and I did not want to express my conflicting emotions about pollution and the enjoyment of being a tourist on an exotic island. On the return flight, I had developed a greater desire to express my feelings about the issue of pollution, and several days after my vacation, I participated in a Hackathon Event. This was to produce a mobile game, “Keeping the Maldives Clean”, which the player could never win.


At times, I question whether I could return to the island, and I am unsure what my decision would be. There is an uneasy feeling about the reality of pollution and the impact it has on the island, therefore, my intention and hope is to deliver this uneasy feeling about the reality of pollution that I felt by having others play this mobile game.


Directing: Dong Whi Yoo

Visual Design: Dong Whi Yoo

Programming: Dong Whi Yoo, Chanwook Min