Changing the Game on Climate Change

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Understanding climate science is not only worthwhile, but a key consideration when developing climate communication strategies

Everyone has an opinion about climate change—but many in the public arena can't explain how it really works.

A PhD researcher at the Australian National University—with a team of professional game programmers, 3D artists and animators—has come up with an innovative climate game: CO2peration. The game is designed to teach everyone the science of climate change—from star systems to molecules—and help to better align public understanding of climate change with the scientific community. 

The team are now urgently seeking crowd funding – if you’re concerned about climate change, please visit the Kickstarter campaign  to help make this important initiative a reality. 

For many years, the view on climate change communication has been that the ‘knowledge deficit’ model—scientific information is needed to fill a gap in understanding—was ineffective. However, recent research suggests this is not necessarily the case—that understanding climate science is not only worthwhile, but a key consideration when developing climate communication strategies. The problem in dismissing the knowledge deficit model was that early communicators were using ‘fear appeals’ (a focus on frightening impacts and predictions) to promote engagement rather than on teaching the actual phenomena that drive the climate system. These fundamental processes are the perfect questions to explore in an engaging, exciting 3D interactive environment.

This new CO2peration game is a world-first for many reasons—it's all about the science: the interactive 3D game is designed to arm people with the facts. From students and teachers, serious gamers and climate scientists, to the people who just want to know what they're talking about at the water cooler—the aim of the game is to make sure everyone walks away more informed about the phenomenon and why understanding it matters. Modelled on all the probes, spacecraft and phenomena in space, CO2peration traverses the solar system and zooms down to the very material that makes up life, as we know it. It’s a journey to discover why we have water on Earth’s surface—and the delicate balances that keep it there.

If you’d like to support the CO2peration game, click here to help—there are some great rewards for those who pledge: from the mug’s game mug to having the creators plant trees on your behalf, there’s something for everyone. Get in early to get the best rewards—and change the game on climate change.

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