In a recent article published in Nature Climate Change journal (impact factor 14.56), Jason S. Wu, a TC doctoral student in Science Education, and Joey J. Lee, Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Games Research Lab in Teachers College’s Department of Math, Science And Technology, reported that digital games are effective in educating and engaging the public in the subject of climate change.
In a nice overview of the opportunities of games for more effective climate change communication, Wu and Lee write that there has been a “dramatic increase” in the development of games featuring innovative designs that blur traditional boundaries – for example, those that involve social media, alternative reality games, or those that involve direct action upon the real world).
Games allow players to “simulate complex models or provide a level of control that is not possible in the real world,” they write. “This is particularly advantageous when dealing with global atmospheric systems that would be otherwise difficult to bring to a hands-on level.” They conclude that “games are uniquely suited to get people to understand, care about and take action on climate issues” because they can “serve as engaging tools that allow players to experience the complexities of climate systems [and] provide interactive models where players participate in decisions affecting climate change and immediately see the resulting outcomes.”
Download the paper below: