Playing Games with Climate Change

Gaming, especially online gaming, is part of modern culture. Whether you’re playing scrabulous on facebook, or tennis on that new Wii you got for Christmas, you should take a minute and check out this game called Climate Challenge from the BBC.

Climate Change Game from the BBC

In this game, you get to be the president of the European Nations (that’s President Fox, thanks). As president, you tackle climate change by buying policy “cards”, bartering with other world leaders, and making sure that you’re still popular in the press. It kind of reminds me of Monopoly. However, the only way I ever won at Monopoly was when I was the banker (Ok, I admit, I cheated at Monopoly when I was seven).

Would the planet survive if you were in power? Innovate, trade and persuade other nations to help you save the environment.

I like the premise of this game. The science and research behind the game is solid. The BBC developers have done a nice job demonstrating the complexities of climate change policy making. You’ve really got to spend a lot of time thinking about the choices you’re making. There’s lots of choices, all with consequences. In other words, it’s pretty hard to cheat to win.

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Joanne often gets really excited when she talks about Science. Luckily, she works in the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory, the educational arm of the Michael Smith Labs. She likes all kinds of science but has a special spot in her heart for biology, technology, and well, sports. As a scientist and educator at UBC, she hopes that she never becomes so specialized that she loses her global perspective. (When she gets around to writing an intro post, I'm sure that she'll link to it here).