Pandemic’s creator is making a board game about climate change

Source(s): Wired, Condé Nast Digital

By Jocelyn Timperley

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When game developer Matt Leacock released his best-selling board game Pandemic, he didn't expect that twelve years later people would be using it to help them process an actual pandemic sweeping the world. But with his new game, Leacock is hoping that it will be extremely relevant to one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: the climate crisis.

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The gameplay basics will be somewhat familiar to Pandemic players. Carbon emissions get transferred into temperature, which rises on a giant thermometer and escalates crises such as storms. Players need to keep their resilience topped up to protect themselves against these crises, while also decarbonising to stop the temperature going up in the first place. If players stabilise temperatures to net zero carbon emissions, they collectively win the game. But if they reach a certain number of people in crisis, everyone loses the game. As a rough model of the challenges of climate change, it has the basics covered.

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Leacock’s hope is that their new game will give players a better idea of the largest factors contributing to climate change and what solutions look like, but also a positive outlook that change is possible. “I guess the stretch would be to help build a bit of groundswell for more collective action,” he says.

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