The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has come up with a new way to promote climate action. They’re using video games as an educational tool to help children understand the impacts of climate change. It’s a great idea because it can target people who don’t like traditional methods, like adults and older generations. Furthermore, video games are used before for education purposes, but never in this context before.
The NYC Subway Train Ride – Thinking About Video Games
The idea of video games being used as a tool to get people involved in the fight for climate change was born in a New York subway train. During this time, the Strategic Advisor on Climate Change for the UN Development Programme Cassie Flynn was riding the subway to work. Cassie’s daily commute was her way to think of innovative ways to get people into the climate fight, and in this particular ride, she was successful.
Cassie states that everyone on her train was glued to their phones playing video games giving her the idea of using the medium to promote climate action. So Cassie felt that it was a logical next step to go from educating people on climate change, to helping them take action. The idea is that by playing video games and completing certain tasks the player will learn about sustainable behavior while actually doing something.
The subway train ride resulted in the creation of a game designed to help with climate action. Moreover, Cassie and the United Nations created it. The idea behind it is for people to play and learn about sustainable behavior while doing something. It’s called Mission 1.5, which is a UNDPs video game that allows players to learn about the climate crisis. Today, the game stands at a 50% completion from more than six million people from 58 countries.
The Green Game Jam
With over 3 billion users across the globe, the smartphone has evolved to become a necessity in our lives. Therefore, making mobile gaming the most powerful tool to spread awareness of the ongoing climate crisis. So to take advantage of this medium, the UN launched the Playing for the Planet Alliance during the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Then in 2020, Playing for the Planet launched an annual event called The Green Game Jam in partnership with some of the biggest video game studios on the planet like Bandai Namco, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Supercell, Ubisoft, and Microsoft, among others.
The Green Game Jam is a global event that started three years ago with the objective of using video games to help drive social change. The team behind this initiative believes that game development and storytelling can play an important role in environmental conservation and sustainable practices. So for their third edition, they are expecting over 50 studios from around the world, who will be creating games on different subjects such as climate change, deforestation, and plastic pollution among others.
Games created during these events not only promote sustainability but also provide gamers with new environment-themed content to explore. Furthermore, games that will be participating in this event will be playable on all major gaming platforms and the game developers have a wide variety of prizes to choose from. They will activate the games on different dates and will feature their unique take on climate action change.
Currently Activated Video Games
Below is a list of games players can participate in;
Asphalt 9 Event
- Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft – June 2, 2022
- Big Farm: Mobile Harvest by Good Game Studio – June 2 – 13, 2022
- Carbon Island by Tencent – April 8 – June 30, 2022
- Diggy’s Adventure by PixelFederation – June 3-5, 2022
- Empires and Puzzles by Small Giant – June 3 to July 4, 2022
- Frag by OhBiBi- June 2 – 29, 2022
- Hay Day by SuperCell – May 21 – June 21, 2022
Hungry Shark Evolution Event
- Hungry Shark Evolution by Ubisoft Barcelona Mobile – June 3-12, 2022
- Hunting Clash by Ten Square Games – June 5-12, 2022
- Idle Miner Tycoon by Kolibri Games – June 13- July 10, 2022
- Imagine Earth: Saving Planet B by Serious Bros. – June 5, 2022
- June’s Journey by Wooga – June 5-6, 2022
- Pokémon GO, Ingress, Pikmin Bloom by Niantic – Apr 23, 2022, 1 day per month for 6 months
- Port City by PixelFederation – June 3rd – 6th + May 31st – June 20th, 2022
- TerraGenesis by Tilting Point – June 2-10, 2022
- Tiny Worlds: Idle Dragon by Old Skull Games – June 3-23, 2022
- Traffic Puzzle by Huuuge – June 3-5, 2022
- Trainstation 2 by PixelFederation – June 3rd – 6th + May 24th – June 13th, 2022
- Trove by Gamigo Group – June 5, 2022
- Mag Interactive – May 30th – June 26th, 2022
- UsTwo Games – June 3, 2022
Each of the participating games and studios has its own gimmick and presentation focused on climate action. If you have one of the games, then you can check on the various activities by logging in or updating the game online.
The UN & Video Games Moving Forward
The UN Climate Change Conference is approaching. And one of its objectives is to find ways in which climate change can be addressed by 2030. One new way that has been proposed is through video games, as a form of alternative content for players. The team behind Jam believes that video games are an important part of any sustainable practice. Plus, they have the power to educate gamers about sustainable practices and raise awareness. For example, one of them is working on a game that teaches how to deal with climate change through sustainable agricultural practices.
The group has partnered with games developers, as well as nonprofits such as WWF International. It’s for the environmental activism support in an effort to spread the message about sustainability. Additionally, they want to show that it can be a fun way to promote and take action against climate change. To that end, if you want to help in the mission to save the planet, then download or purchase any of the games mentioned in this article. And for more updates regarding this topic, stay tuned here in PlayPC.