Climate adventure: a strategy game to keep the greenhouse effect in balance is our Poster at the conference Our Common Future Under Climate Change, Paris, July, 2015. The game is copyright © 2015 by José de Sousa (Economist), Josiel Cunha (Physicist) and Mônica Prado (Communicator) and it is a PhD Project under the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy program offered by the University of Lisbon.
Climate Adventure© is a parlor game aimed at the general public (age 14 and up) and it can be played anywhere. The objective is to keep carbon in balance during an adventure through the atmosphere. Players create their Teams and elect a Leader and a Pawn for this adventure. The Team In Balance wins the game.
To meet that goal, the Team’s Pawn must cross the Exit Gate with the same amount of carbon it has at the beginning of the journey. Players use balloons to represent carbon throughout the 18 spots on the play mat. The balloons are placed on the vest of each Pawn. Each Team begins with 7. In order to win, they can carry 6 to 8 balloons. The Teams lose automatically if the amount of balloons reaches 2 or 16. As the game progresses, the Teams may pick carbon up from the Source Box or return it to the Sink Box.
The dynamic is Question & Answer game and the teams play in turns. Players should use strategy to cross the Exit Gate, differentiating Climate Adventure© from a usual trivia. There are 54 cards. Teams play with 42 content cards (Question & Answer), 2 Carbon cards (The Joker), 5 Bonus cards and 5 Penalty cards. The Joke and the Bonus cards allow the teams to move forward or step back and to gain or lose balloons.
About the PhD Project:
- The Question: How to give Climate Change tangibility in an ethical way?
- The Present: Tool developed through 4 steps
- The future ahead of us: testing the game out
First Step: electing the instrument
- Our chosen vehicle is a game. A parlor game in which players use balloons, vests and cards, and walk through a play mat with 18 spaces and proportion of 150 cm x 200 cm.
Second Step: conceptualizing the model and the narrative of the game
- Our chosen model is a strategy game played between teams. Wins the team In Balance.
- The narrative is based on a scientific argument that considers the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect, and the concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon) and on an ethical argument that considers distributive justice and climate ethics.
Third Step: refining the concept and the dynamic of the game
- In November 2014, we invited doctoral colleagues to play the game, and three of them acted as direct observers with the responsibility of responding to a set of questions. The authors incorporated the responses into the model and the narrative of the game. Our technique was improvement by peers from the design thinking methodology.
Fourth Step: comparing and gauging perception
- Our desk research identified climate change games for children and adults, most of them strongly focused on cognition and competition. Climate Adventure© focus on Balance and Strategy.
- An online survey was conducted among students of 2 classes at the doctoral program: the class that had participated in the game improvement and another class that was completely unfamiliar with the game. The objective was to gauge people’s perception about attractiveness, color of the balloons, name of the game and potential outcomes.
We would like to thank professor Dr. Filipe D. Santos for supporting our project as well a number of people that have been giving us insights and suggestions along this ongoing project: Barbarah Torres, Gabrielle Igreja, Mafalda Mattos, Márcia Gonçalves, Maria Vieira, Theano Mouratidis, Curtis Appleton, Felipe Igreja, Fernando Caria, Who Informações de Mercado (Luiz Gabriel and Regina Xavier) and our doctoral colleagues who tested the game.
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