If Climate Change Were a Video Game, This is How You'd Beat It


Confronting the world's climate crisis is going to be hard. Getting developed nations to agree with still-industrializing ones on the amount of pollution they can emit, convincing the rich world to cut down on energy use and consumption, and forging any kind of agreement between 190 nations with very different ambitions are among the most Herculean feats humanity has ever faced.

But what if solving the climate crisis were as simple as playing a video game? If you could make all the strategic decisions yourself? How would you beat it then?

Of course, even if all the choices were made by just one smart, well-informed individual -- say, a really good strategy gamer -- it'd still be hard as hell. That's what makes playing Fate of the World, the video game in which you single-handedly attempt to prevent catastrophic climate change, so challenging. I played the game at this year's Games for Change festival, and it is indeed tough. As it should be.

Ian Roberts is the developer for the game, and I asked him how he'd go about beating his own game -- a question fraught with not-so-subtle metaphorical import indeed. Watch his answer above. His answer is based primarily on drastically cutting consumption in the developed world and limiting emissions in the developing world -- two pretty lofty goals.

So--how would you do it? How would you 'beat' climate change?

Join me in the good green fight. Follow me on Twitter, and check out The Utopianist.
More on the Climate Crisis:
Getting Developing Nations on a Greener Path Without Creating a New Renewable Energy 'Colonialism'
33 US Generals & Admirals Say " Climate Change is Threatening America