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Can gaming shape people’s views on climate change?


Recently, some game developers have been attempting to educate a new generation of gamers on climate change. Will it work?


The 220 billion dollar industry holds a strong influence on today’s youth, and a video game released in 2022: Floodland, uses this as an opportunity to educate them. Floodland is a city-building strategy game where the big boss isn’t a monster, or an evil character with way too much power, but it is something just as terrorizing: climate change.


Developers Kacper Kwiatkowski and Grzegorz Mazur of indie studio; Vile Monarch, decided they wanted to create a post-apocalyptic city-builder with a crisis at its center. Climate change was not thought of to be the game’s main narrative, but when this idea came along, they were encouraged to go along with it.


A couple of years later, the game was set to release on Steam. The game tasks players to rebuild civilization after melted polar ice caps destroyed earth, reducing land masses to mere islands. All that remains in this dystopian world are groups of nomadic survivors and minimal resources.


There are very few games in the industry dealing with climate change, and the few that do portray climate themes, do so with poor accuracy and effectiveness. On the other hand, there are games such as Factorio, Highwater, and many others that spread awareness about climate change and its consequences


The reason that climate change has not been a bigger topic addressed in city-builder games is because the topic can be considered dull, especially for gamers who are used to going on a journey to battle dragons or team up with others to defeat enemy teams.


However, recent data has shown that views can change. A report found that most gamers in the US are concerned about the climate crisis. Many believe that the industry should take on some sort of responsibility against global warming, including the carbon emissions from video games.


In addition, video games are valuable sources of education for the developing youth. The more players interact with a certain game, the more their thoughts and ideals revolve around it, making games especially vital to their growth. Vital for the future of our children, vital for the future of the earth.

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