Video Gaming Supports Climate Action

From climate and environment-themed videogames to special features, pop-ups, and real-life tree-planting opportunities embedded within beloved classics like PAC-MAN or Angry Birds, the gaming industry is working with the United Nations to engage audiences like never before and inspire a new wave of climate action.

The Lightbulb

“More people play video games on their phones than listen to music and watch videos combined, it’s just massive,” says the expert, Cassie Flynn.

Video games for climate action: winning solutions for the planet

As the Strategic Advisor on Climate Change for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Cassie Flynn often used commuting to think of innovative ways to get ordinary people involved in the climate fight,

One morning, she noticed everyone around her busy with their phones, not just staring at them or scrolling, but doing something on the phones. All of these people were playing games on their phones,” A lightbulb went off:

Ms Flynn’s commute gave birth to UNDP’s Mission 1.5 mobile video game, which allows people to learn about the climate crisis and at the same time communicate to governments about solutions that could be put in place to tackle it – all while they’re exploring virtual universes.

Mission 1.5 video game challenges users to make the right decisions that will keep the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Image: UNDP

The Numbers

Today there are about 6 million people that have played the game in 58 countries, with a 50 per cent completion rate. Not bad work!

The game itself goes beyond educating the users on climate solutions. It is offered in 17 languages; and the game engages users to cast a vote about which actions, in their opinion, would be more successful to tackle the climate crisis.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Mission 1.5’s success is only the tip of the iceberg if we think about the reach of today’s video gaming industry, which stretches beyond our smartphones onto the screens of at least 3 billion people in the world – or 1 in every 3 people in the planet.

“The video gaming industry is probably the most powerful medium in the world in terms of attention, reach and engagement,” says Sam Barratt, UN Environment’s Chief of Education, Youth & Advocacy.

UNDP’s Mission 1.5 mobile video game Games Screen Shot

Get Started!

You can click here to start playing the game on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can share with others in your family especially younger family members with access to a mobile phone or tablet. This game will get them engaged in climate change learning and related actions.

In 2022, Mission 1.5 will launch a new series of questions to include in the game, while the Alliance will be holding several events, including a virtual climate march and a Green Game Jam student edition.

You can read more at the World Economic Forum website. The article was originally published by United Nations.

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