With over 2.5 billion players worldwide, video games have become one of the most powerful entertainment media on the planet.
Currently, the United Nations wants this huge community to be involved in climate change issues.
Over 30 different studios from across the gaming industry have come together to create an innovative and exciting green activation for the game. These are new messaging features introduced by businesses to emphasize environmental themes such as conservation and restoration.
Called Green game jam, This contest is part of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, promoted by the United Nations and aimed at bringing climate issues to the gaming arena.
So how do you take tree protection and turn it into a game?
This years Green Game Jam entry included the first ever video game climate change walk, a tree-planting event leading to an actual restoration project, and an introduction to the in-game results of environmental abuse.
London-based game studio, ustwoWas one of the five winners of the contest and won the Participant Choice Award.
We really want to harness the power of the game to tell an emotional and memorable story that can be used to make a bigger impact, said Jane Campbell, the companys studio operations leader. I will.
For ustwo, that means adding forest protection to the companys complex puzzle game, Monument Valley II.In addition to learning about it in the game, players will also be linked to Petition called Play4Forests This brings the gaming community together and calls on world leaders to take action.
Its very important for gaming companies to involve players in these climate change themes. As a sector, the gaming industry has a very unique opportunity to attract and attract viewers, she adds. ..
As a company, we have also made a great commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, etc., but I think the most important thing is to use our platform forever.
This is also not the first attempt by the studio to enter the green game. Published last year, Aruba: Wildlife Adventure You can play as a young girl helping to save nature on the Mediterranean islands.
We want you to feel inspired by Alba, as we know that some of these actions Alba has taken in the game can certainly be performed in the real world. It was.
To inspire developers on this years theme, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) leaders and experts shared their lifelong experience in protecting our forests and oceans. In March 2021, teams from each studio gathered to participate in three thematic workshops to support environmentally friendly elements.
Campbell explains that the inspiration behind the game comes from everywhere. It is natural for her to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about forest conservation to create content.
The particular workshop that really inspired us was the Tree Hidden Life Workshop by Peter Wohlleben, she says.
Wohllebens talk is based on the study of his book, The Hidden Life of Trees. The idea is that trees communicate with each other to protect the forest from threats.
This idea of a tree communicating with and protecting other trees wants to incorporate all of this into the gameplay were designing.
Christian Teleki, Global Director of Oceans at the World Resources Institute, was one of the people who shared the story about the environment with the game studio.
Many months ago, I was a coral scientist. I spent a lot of time in the field and saw some great things, says Teleki. But during that time, we also found that things were changing very rapidly. Our view of the pristine environment was probably not true.
When the media talks about marine conservation, such as coral bleaching, or the potential of the marine environment to provide undiscovered drugs, it doesnt always come to life.
Gamification offers the opportunity to weave gamification into a fun and exciting experience, says Teleki.
I think the whole Playing for the Planet Alliance and the approach they took to join these gaming communities is a very exciting opportunity that has been overlooked for many years.
With billions of people involved around the world, there is an opportunity to highlight the seriousness of climate change in an incredibly diverse network. Not only fate and darkness, but also the possibility of a real solution. Some of it can come from the game itself.
According to Teleki, games of the past have helped organizations like NASA solve problems that require a lot of computing power.
I pondered the idea of citizen science. Is there a way to process numbers and data to gain a better understanding by playing games? He says.
But the real opportunity in these virtual worlds is to expose people to the idea that our responsibility to the planet is more than just recycling. Perhaps people are unlikely to receive extensive enlightenment from the game, but Teleki adds, which opens the door to wider conversations.
Its a great opportunity to use this audience to somehow fine-tune their behavior, get them involved in the matter, and rethink what the world looks like in different climate change scenarios.
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