"Zabaleen" is the Arabic term for those visionary and enterprising people whose culture revolves around recycling. The Zabaleen are experts at "transforming one man's garbage into another man's gold" and aspire toward a net zero-waste economy. Applied and supported this could lead to true energy independence, not only by radically reducing our demand for "raw materials" and hard to extract natural resources but by recycling other less obvious phenomena and materials that are now wasted.
Here is the first sketchup effort I made, georeferencing the Zabaleen school in Cairo and communicating how to improve the solar hot water system we built on it. The system was already built in real life but I had to communicate visually from overseas how our colleagues there might modify the angle to improve performance. In the game version you would be able to test out various angles and their effects on thermosiphoning.
You are right about sketchup -- here is one of the efforts I've made for teaching people how to make a simple biodigestor, but yeah, it isn't as fun as riding a horse up to the place. In the ARG I'm developing you get to go onto the actual roof and play around with the ...technology, all while figuring out how to deal with the social and political problems that the autonomous living movement creates.