TCN Newsletter Issue 10: New Years Edition!


Featured Emerging Leader:

Nick Heyming

CEO of Grow Games Interactive, Founder of Seeds: The Game



reprinted with permission from Nick Heyming

The idea for Seeds the Game was born almost 5 years ago while CEO of Grow Games Interactive and Founder of Seeds The Game, Nick Heyming, was in Peru volunteering with an organization that helped children build community gardens, called Tierra de Niños.  He was approached by a grandmother in the community who thanked him for working with the kids but was concerned about children and youth who were not there, that were just eating junk food, disconnecting from their community, and playing video games for the majority of their free time. The kids working in community gardens in Peru were already activated on a deeper level and were committed to being Earth Stewards at an early age. “What about the ones in commercial consumer & video game culture?” she asked. Was there anything Nick could do about it? He started to approach this challenge when he returned to the States. He figured that video games were a great way of reaching young people and children, who have the potential to take on earth stewardship and community organizing in the future. Video games are one of the largest media forms in our tech-centric culture right now. The Economist notes that “Some 72% of households in America play games of some sort, says the ESA.”


reprinted with permission from Nick Heyming

The way that this video game gets this huge population of people out of the gameroom and into the community is that you can’t win Seeds The Game without going outside and learning from elders, getting involved in community organizations, and getting your hands in the dirt in the garden. Nick and his team have spent the last 5 years weaving together the logistics of how it would work in a technical sense, how it could be fun, and how it could be a sustainable venture which would captivate people to play over and over again.  The way users are incentivized to continuously return to new challenges is the opportunity to learn different techniques such as aquaponics, companion planting, ecovillage design, cob building, and countless other regenerative living actions. For example, the Pipes Game will be where you are building an aquaponics system and use what you learned in the game to build a real one.  Seeds is partnering with businesses who will provide tools and supplies to physically build an aquaponics system! The companion planting game helps you grow certain plants together using seeds that are prizes from partner organizations who donate them once you complete certain real life challenges, like completing a compost system. 

Grow Games Interactive was founded a year ago. Though it tried to start as a non profit, it was difficult making a video game and technology platform into a non profit, so it switched over to a public benefit corporation, with the vision of making video games sustainable infused with the higher purpose of positively impacting communities around the world through a replicable regional community organizing objective.

“We don’t want to reinvent the Wheel, we want to partner and showcase the people who have been doing it for 10-15 years and since the movement is already going mainstream, Seeds can add to the momentum in the regenerative living movement and secure our generation and future generations place in an abundant future,” explains Nick. “At the end of the day, much of our global culture need to get more educated and active and the best way to do this is to make it fun!” A lot of the initiatives GGI is striving toward with these games, we are already doing, like making community gardens, activating volunteers days and farmers markets, attending and hosting natural building workshops, and growing ecovillages. People are already “checking in” on apps like Yelp and Foursquare at farmers markets, sustainable community centers, and video game conferences, so why not give them points to get them closer to completing their challenges in Seeds the Game? There are other opportunities to get involved like signing up to be long term moderators so the Seeds community has regional allies that are sorting through the information and harvesting the potential. In Seeds the Game you are not just a username.

Grow games Interactive’s future is ripe and ready to blossom. It is creating a suite of apps, beginning with Seeds. Seeds is the portal, a web based  and mobile app for android and ios. It is written in html5 so it translates over the app mediums. Seeds the Game is the main focus in Grow Games Interactive right now. However, they are also creating a language tool so people are able to translate plant names as part of the Citizen Science Initiative to gamify translation. Seeds is opening doors to new projects on a massive scale. Grow Games Interactive also produces game jams that are hackathon-like events which let programmers and permaculturists  collaborate on the game design and open the public benefit corporation up to the community as a worker owned corporation for food action. These game jams are sponsored by ecovillages and sustainable community centers.

Seeds’ crowdfunding campaign is in its last week, and they need you to spread the word or contribute. In fact one of the perks is the first download code! The rewards are in alpha testing. Help Get Seeds the Game into the 3D world and embedded in your community!





Featured Emergent Leader: Nick Heyming

CEO, Grow Games Interactive

Founder Seeds The Game

Grow Games Interactive Facebook Page

Seeds The Game Facebook Page










Taylor HeadshotArticle Written / Interview Performed by

Taylor Proffitt

TCN Community Member

Network Ambassador at Project Nuevo Mundo