By Anders Lorenzen
What would happen if we failed to adhere to the internationally agreed 2°C target for limiting climate change?
This pivotal question is tackled in Carbon Warfare, a simulation and strategy game developed for iOS and Android by Gamesource Studio and Virtuos with the aim of raising awareness about climate change through a realistic experience.
The game lets players embody an evil entity whose goal is to destroy the planet through excessive investment in carbon-fuelled industries. Players must find the optimal, winning combination of industries and ecological disasters before mankind can realise its imminent demise and find a solution to carbon emissions.
Timidly launched during the COP22 climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco last year, the team behind the simulation strategy game say they want Carbon Warfare to be part of the effort to educate the public on the consequences of a warming planet without patronising them. The game is designed to be scientifically literate and is based on scientific projections describing what would happen if average temperatures rose from 2°C to a catastrophic 6°C.
According to the game’s creators the fun and addictive experience it provides retains the player’s attention and imparts a keen comprehension of the mechanisms and the causes of global warming, as mastering them is necessary to win the game. The educational potential of Carbon Warfare originates from its accurate reproduction of the consequences of global warming, as well as through its immersive gameplay.
Players are faced with dilemmas ranging from encouraging intensive farming and SUV production or investing in coal and pipeline construction. Carbon Warfare’s gameplay teaches players about the various aspects of global warming and accurately simulates modern society’s challenges. Wildfires, sand storms, and flooding are the goals, annihilating cities and contributing to a domino effect that will jeopardise Earth’s delicate environmental balance.
The scientific aspects of the game have been developed in partnership with Yoram Bauman, an environmental economist at the University of Washington.
Gilles Langourieux, CEO of Virtuos, explains: “We wanted to deliver a game which provokes greater social awareness around the threats and consequences of global warming to our planet if we don’t change fast enough. Carbon Warfare is a fresh take on delivering this message through an immersive and engaging gaming experience, so we’re excited to see how players react.