SNAPP: Gaming the Future of Climate Communications

Can video games succeed where traditional climate communications have failed?

Principal Investigator(s): 

Josh Lawler, Nalini Mohan, James Watson, and Chris Zganjar
While the best available evidence is important for good decision-making, past failed climate communications efforts have made clear that providing more information is not necessarily better. In the United States perceptions on climate change fall squarely along entrenched socio-political lines, and communications studies show that more information on climate change seems to force opinions even farther apart. Video games are a promising platform for profound innovation in communication, education, and social change. The gaming industry is now larger than the movie industry in the United States with 59 percent of Americans playing games. 
The Gaming the Future Working Group will assemble an interdisciplinary team for a rapid, agile-style working meeting to scope out how to advance five key activities: 1) synthesize existing science on how video games can positively affect behavior; 2) develop a portfolio of gaming ideas drawn from a synthesis of psychology, education and sociology literature on changing behaviors; 3) synthesize necessary climate-change science to ensure accuracy in the games; and 4) explore how to develop, produce, test and release at least one game as a pilot. 

This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, Angela Nomellini and Ken Olivier, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

More information for project participants Visit the SNAPP website