Grand Theft Eco: The iBear in the River

LENS screening of the first episode of Grand Theft Eco: Environmental Futures of Los Angeles.

Grand Theft Eco is a machinima series and pedagogical engine that repurposes the video game Grand Theft Auto to explore possible eco-futures of LA in the year 2050.

In this premiere screening, we share the first episode of Grand Theft Eco, The iBear in the River, which focuses on a vibrant and revitalized LA River landscape that brings together two teenagers, Kerstin Connor and Yolanda Arellanos, in an adventurous chase to retrieve a lost electronic toy. As the girls explore the landscapes and neighborhoods along the river, they forge a temporary friendship that persistent inequalities ultimately drive apart.

Screenshots from the film

Each episode offers an alternative to dominant dystopian narratives about climate change futures by developing nuanced storyworlds in which crucial environmental problems have been addressed, but issues of social inequality continue to trouble how the solutions are experienced.

Google Map to UCLA Kaplan Hall https://maps.app.goo.gl/w76Sjtz2q9Yj9YUW6

Sponsors: Department of English, Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA Design | Media Arts