The story behind I Lands
The “well being” of a species and the world it inhabits depends a lot upon the openness of the Outlook of the species: the capacity of its members to see and care beyond solely personal interest. The range to which a person can see and help is called the person’s "Care Horizon". Maintaining a wide Care Horizon is necessary for the survival of everyone.
The game I Lands takes place in a world that is mostly water. People live in it on islands; some on small resource poor islands, some on big resource rich ones. Long ago, all people maintained a wide Care Horizon, working with each other and nature as a community, in order to survive. Today the people on the small islands still live this way, each keeping the other within his or her Care Horizon – in order to survive. However, over time, the people on the big islands have become industrialized and wealthy by creating and consuming more than their needs dictate. They consider themselves successful, but because they have replaced nature with stressful and noisy societies, they have become closed off to their surroundings and limit their "Care Horizons" only to themselves, which they think they must do – in order to survive.
In this game the inhabitants of the small islands are called WE Landers because each is within the Care Horizon of the other. The inhabitants of the big islands are called ME Landers because each is outside the Care Horizon of the other. An Outlook is represented by a Heart on each card. The suit color expands from the Heart to show the extent of Care Horizon, narrow for ME Landers and wide for WE Landers.
However ME Landers and WE Landers do have one thing in common - life can be stressful and both need resources to maintain their feeling of “well being." WE Landers still have the peace, quiet, and warmth of a gorgeous rose colored sunset, the leafy green of a balmy palm grove, and the light gold of a beach sliding into a warm azure sea to sooth them when necessary. But ME Landers no longer have those options and visiting a small, peaceful island for a holiday is not enough. As a result, ME Lander societies have taken advantage of this innate, reoccurring human need for relief, by developing products designed to mimic the soothing effects of nature still enjoyed on the small “undeveloped” islands - the sunset, palms and beach, to artificially make their people feel good. But because these unnatural replacements quickly lose effectiveness, and because people naturally need change, a mechanism called Fashion, has been developed to dictate what is “in” for ME Landers to feel happy, and this keeps their consumer industry “healthy." To maintain their feeling of “well being”, ME Landers are addicted to following Fashion and discarding of products that are no longer “in.” This over consumption pollutes the ocean and raises its level, endangering the WE Landers with extinction.