Playing Games to Save the Planet

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By Laura Reynolds

The Millennium Institute, the Biovision Foundation, and the game company, CodeSustainable, have collaborated to develop a computer game called Game Change Rio. In preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 in June, this game hopes to educate players about sustainability issues and help shape new policy options for sustainable and equitable development.

Game Change Rio hopes to make the tough policy decisions of Rio+20 engaging and accessible. (Image credit: Game Change Rio)

Game Change Rio is built on the Millennium Institute’s Green Economy Model, which analyzes data and key indicators from the energy, manufacturing, transport, buildings, waste, agriculture, fisheries, water, and forest sectors. The game’s data bank has over 5,000 economic and natural-resource indicators, and 125 policy options that players can choose. There are over 100 million possible outcomes that vary from destroying the environment to saving the planet.

“The target group of the game is not necessarily hardcore gamers, but rather senior high school students, college and university students with some political awareness and an interest the issues discussed at Rio,” writes Hans Herren, president of the Millennium Institute and member of the Nourishing the Planet Advisory Group. “This could include teachers, tutors and lecturers of relevant subjects.”

The best players will be brought to Rio for a final game.

To check out the game, click here.

What other creative ways can people become involved or engaged in Rio+20?

Laura Reynolds is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet Project.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

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