If you were in charge of the planet, would you be able to keep the wheels of civilization turning without destabilising the planet? That’s the challenge to gamers in Climate Challenge 2010, a computer game due for release this summer. Players are given 200 years to run the world, and watch the consequences of their decisions unfold on the environment.
As well as giving players entertainingly God-like powers, the game should be educational too, giving non-scientists an insight into what climate modelling is and how it is used. To keep it as realistic as possible, developers Red Redemption have recruited one of the UK’s top climate experts to help with the science that underpins the game. Dr Myles Allen from the University of Oxford will provide access to the latest climate modelling, developed through his innovative climateprediction.net project, considered to be the world’s largest climate experiment.
“Accurate real-world data is used in many videogames,” says game designer Ian Roberts. ” Take a motor racing game, you need to know how a car responds when a player brakes or turns too sharply. A climate based game is similar but you can’t test drive the climate. So we needed the expertise of a real scientist.”
Climate Challenge 2010 is the follow-up to Climate Challenge, which is hosted on the BBC’s site here and has been played almost a million times since its launch in 2007.
While you’re waiting for summer, have you played these other little flash games?