2018-One-weekend-save-planet

One weekend to save the planet

Tue, 08 May 2018 08:54:00 BST

Applied Games students from Glasgow Caledonian University helped negotiators at a global conference understand climate events that could dramatically change the planet.

The third-year students have designed a game along with scientists from Purdue University in the US. The game was played by climate-change negotiators at the weekend's Conference of Parties negotiation in Bonn, Germany.

The game, Earth Remembers, focuses on climate “tipping points” – thresholds which dramatically change the planet in a way that can't be reversed when crossed.

Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, said: “We have already crossed one such tipping point. By increasing one degree above the pre-industrial target, the most immediate areas of concern are the melting of arctic sea ice and the collapsing of coral reefs as oceans warm and become too acidic. Even if we reduce the temperature it will take hundreds of years to re-establish the reefs.

“There are other tipping points. If we head into three-degree territory, we may lose our sea ice sheets forever. At higher thresholds, we risk Amazon forest dieback.”

The game sees 30 players controlling ten negotiation alliances, who are to decide how large a commitment they should make to climate mitigation, green technology and the international climate fund. The players’ decisions simulate the next few decades and demonstrate the effects of their choices on global temperatures and tipping points.

Student Dylan Nichol was lead programmer on the project. He said: “Working on Earth Remembers has definitely been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences I have ever faced. This experience has totally redefined my passion for software development and I now feel ready to tackle whatever may lie ahead.”

Manjana Milkoreit, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University, said: “This team of student game designers has been essential for making our Gaming Climate Futures project a success and bringing an impactful learning and imaginative experience to the international climate negotiations.

“We were very impressed by the students' ability to deal with the various challenges and pressures placed upon them over the past year, to grapple with the complex problem of climate change, and to bring our game concept to life in a creative and professional way.”

The full GCU team is: Design: Alasdair Reavey, Cara Henney; Art: Jess O'Neill, Marie Jeantet, Ross Young; Programming: Dylan Nichol, Jamie Milne.

The gameplay trailer can be viewed here.

Applied Games students from Glasgow Caledonian University helped negotiators at a global conference understand climate events that could dramatically change the planet.