Teaching kids (& adults) about climate

photo_verybig_110295[1]With Copenhagen behind us, it makes me wonder is there something we as individuals do to help the climate? On one such thought tangent I wondered if it possible to teach kids about climate using a simulation game like Civilisation? On cursory search I could not find anything that could entertain and educate kids.

What would it be?

An empire building game that needs to balance technology, way of life and climate to achieve sustainable conditions. The players will need to move from stone age to iron age to industrial age to knowledge age. All this is well covered by games in the Civilisation series. The difference is, to advance in the technology tree, they will need to consume resources and they need to understand that resources are limited and that consuming them is not without consequences.

Learning

A game that will show the interdependence of several factors like:

  • Exploitation of natural resources (wood, coal, oil, gold, diamonds, animals, fishes etc)  for technical progress and their costs in terms of environmental impact
  • The long term implication of the such impact
  • Investing in technology to achieve sustainable development
  • Also the flip side of not consuming natural resources and it impact on growth and empire building
  • The need to consume resources to ‘unlock’ next levels of technical innovation
  • Trading of resources amongst empires which have surplus of something
  • I would probably underplay the option of war and more of foreign trade as a means to acquire scarce resources.

What next?

I am not a game developer so wouldn’t know how to get about doing it. But may be some like minded people will come together and look at it. Maybe Freeciv can provide a starting point. Maybe it even becomes successful and makes some money for the creators.

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