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On January 23, a meteor will appear in the sky. Just 30 days later, it will impact the surface of the planet. Unless we can work together to stop it.

That’s the setup for the cooperative survival game Eco, which was my game of the year in 2018. It’s available in Early Access on Steam and from developer Strange Loop’s website. And I’m setting up an event where folks from GamesBeat, our community, and from around the industry are going to play through it over the next month. We’re calling it The Big Eco Game, and you can follow along with us beginning Wednesday.

In Eco, you need to build up your civilization with other players to destroy the meteor before it destroys your world. This encourages everyone to work together to acquire resources and to refine them into usable materials. But every action in Eco has consequences. Overhunting a species could push it toward extinction. Smelting iron creates toxic sludge. Cutting down too many trees could kill your forest. So Eco forces players to find a balance between stripping the planet and respecting its delicate systems. And it encourages players to work out their issues when they disagree about the best way to move forward.

Eco is one of those games where the meta experience makes up a significant chunk of the experience. And it’s the kind of thing you can participate in even if you’re not actively playing.

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Here’s how you can follow along:

The details

So when exactly does this start, what version are we playing, and how can you watch? Or better yet, can you play along?

Here’s what you need to know:

I’ll try to keep an updated log of what is going on right here on GamesBeat, but you can always just follow me or the official hashtag #TBEG.

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