Fortnite Battle Royale at GDC 2018. Official GDC, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WEF: Playing Fortnite While Streaming Climate Messages Boosts Interest

Essay by Eric Worrall

Imagine content so tedious that watching other people play computer games can increase viewer interest.

Here’s how the gaming industry can shape perspectives on climate change

Dec 21, 2022
  • The gaming industry is creating more games designed to educate players on the threats posed by climate change.
  • While video games can encourage behavioural change among gamers, they can also create a false impression of easy fixes, research has found.
  • The difficulty lies in visually representing the gradual, incremental nature of the problem, which is largely caused by an invisible gas, developers say.

The $200-billion gaming industry is increasingly featuring the climate crisis, but it’s just as likely to lead to harms as gains.

Platforms like YouTube and Twitch have encouraged some climate researchers to experiment with streaming to attract viewers, but with mixed results.

In 2018, Henri Drake, then a doctoral student in physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, started the channel ClimateFortnite to stream the popular video game Fortnite on Twitch. As he played, guests spoke about politics and the environment.

Several major publications covered the channel, but Drake shut it down after a few months.

ClimateFortnite went “predictably viral,” Drake said in an email. But he said the format was not an effective way to talk about science due to the game’s fast pace and the focus required to be effective.

An attempt to pivot to games like Eco and Civilisation VI, which were better for climate-based discussions, came at the cost of less engagement from viewers, he said.

“These games are excellent and effective at communicating both the problem of climate change (and, crucially, its solutions) but they unfortunately are not very appealing for live-streaming,” Drake said.

Read more: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/12/gaming-industry-climate-change-games-environment/

The climate researchers could be onto something, but I’m not sure computer games are the solution they are looking for. They need to find an online activity which engages viewer interest, but does not tax them intellectually to such an extent they can no longer simultaneously discuss the climate crisis.

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Tom Halla
December 24, 2022 6:03 am

Real porn and climate porn?

Paul Hurley
December 24, 2022 6:14 am

So, it’ll be computer games within computer games?

HotScot
December 24, 2022 6:27 am

Discussing politics and the environment whilst playing an online fantasy game.

Seems about right, the west is living in political fantasy land at the moment anyway.

pillageidiot
December 24, 2022 6:27 am

Is this Orwellian level streaming of propaganda?

Are they eventually going to go to the Clockwork Orange level, where the propaganda subjects will have their heads restrained to only view the screen and there are clamps to hold the eyelids open?

niceguy12345
December 24, 2022 6:35 am

Do you get bonus points if you make hockey sticks?
Do hockey sticks give you super powers?

real bob boder
December 24, 2022 7:15 am

Nothing like scaring children to make crazies feel good about themselves

Steve Case
December 24, 2022 7:19 am

“The climate researchers could be onto something, but I’m not sure computer games are the solution they are looking for. They need to find an online activity which engages viewer interest, but does not tax them intellectually to such an extent they can no longer simultaneously discuss the climate crisis.”  
Eric Worrall
_____________________________________________________________

For God’s sake please stop buying into the bullshit. There isn’t a climate crisis. Stop making suggestions about what climate science needs to do in order to complete their objectives.

Don
Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Case
Gunga Din
Reply to  Steve Case
December 24, 2022 9:01 am

I remember there used to be a cartoon called “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” to try and engage kids to save the environment.
It didn’t last long.

Gary Pearse
December 24, 2022 8:13 am

“… problem of climate change (and, crucially, its solutions) but they unfortunately are not very appealing for live-streaming,” Drake said.”

They’re not very appealing for dead-streaming in the scientific literature, either. Are they unaware that this is the perfect metaphor for putting lipstick on a pig? Here’s an idea. Show an actual proof for the belief in man-made CO2 causing global warming.

Steve Case
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 24, 2022 9:25 am

“… the perfect metaphor for putting lipstick on a pig…”
___________________________________________

First chuckle of my day (-:

Gunga Din
December 24, 2022 8:56 am

No surprise.
I remember there was a racing game that had Obama billboards on side of the road built into the game.

pillageidiot
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 24, 2022 9:22 am

Do you think they reported a campaign contribution to the FEC after every lap you completed?

SOME campaign violations are OK.

niceguy12345
Reply to  pillageidiot
December 25, 2022 5:52 am

Defund the FEC.
I speak as a French citizen. (Which is why my POV on US politics is valid and shall be heard.)

JBP
December 24, 2022 9:02 am

The human race will never be wiped out completely, but this article just points out that Darwin is biding his time. What an incredible amount of fools there are.

Philip CM
December 24, 2022 9:21 am

I buy £35 video games to play so I can be lectured on climate change.
– something said by no one ever.

David Albert
December 24, 2022 9:47 am

“These games are excellent and effective at communicating both the problem of climate change (and, crucially, its solutions)”
SO its games that work to convey imaginary problems and their solutions.

Mike Dombroski
December 24, 2022 10:58 am

I have a one word suggestion:

Debate!

Peta of Newark
December 24, 2022 1:15 pm

You do have to love the contradictions that occur, over time.

Some while ago when shoot-em, kill-em, blow-em up video games were still novel & new, strong/loud arguments were put up against them – saying that playing those sorts of games would cause/exacerbate/trigger those kinds of behaviour out in the real world.
Of course the games’ makers, sellers and promoters were vehement in their denial of such claims – that playing/watching graphic variations on physical and material violence and dysfunction was gonna create a society of well-adjusted peace-loving kittens, all nicely in touch with their Social, Empathic and Feminine Sides.
i.e. That folks were perfectly capable of distinguishing Real from Fake at all times

Now we’re told that video games do enhance the behaviours that are portrayed within said games and are to be encouraged. ##

sigh: Is there anything or anybody in this world that hasn’t contradicted it/themself or ‘sold out’ over the last 4, 5 or 6 decades?

Is there now anything of Real Actual Value, either been created or left over of what previously existed?

## Be careful what you wish for, even more careful that it hasn’t already come true

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Hivemind
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 25, 2022 3:40 pm

And all of which the leftists are trying to destroy.

sherro01
December 24, 2022 4:58 pm

Gambling is not an industry, it is an affliction like alcoholism.
The gamblers are harvesting enough money to get cocky about their influence.
One of the more evil dodges is the expensive repetition on the airwaves of the slogan “gamble responsibly”. That is impossible. No gambling is responsible, any more than kids behind the school dunny block puffing away at tobacco or pot of worse. Good for a giggle, then harm for a lifetime.
In summary, I disapprove of gambling. Geoff S

May Contain Traces of Seafood
December 24, 2022 7:47 pm

Actually I think some of these games accidentally did the right thing.

Take Humankind for example. A 4X world builder where you start as simple hunter gatherers and develop to the space age.

In the late game of this title they start bring in nasty polution (gasp).

What players quickly discovered was that no matter what YOU did as a player, it was always the NPC nations that screwed you over.

So… pretty accurate really.

Editor
January 3, 2023 9:44 am

Eric,

I know I’m a week or so late with my comment, but I still believe it’s worthwhile to add for clarity…

Really I have two things to say on the above. First, as someone who enjoys (as a hobby) the interactive nature of video games over the passive nature of simply watching TV/shows/sports, I’m going to consistently push back against the smug notion that video games are for children (not that you said this, but it leads to my real point). And having established a foothold there, it’s not so hard to understand why people would want to watch “experts” in their hobby of choice, expertly doing said hobby. We don’t chide hunters for watching hunting videos, or home-chefs for watching cooking vids.

Secondly, and more importantly, it should be noted that the gaming community, such as it is, is, in my observation, extremely progressive and leftist. Woke, if you will. There is an entire sub-culture of our youth, young adults, and even not-so-young adults, engaged in this world who are being fed a steady diet of woke leftist identify politics, complete with all the normal ancillary talking points you’d expect. Climate change is just another item on a long list of checkmarks pushed on a daily basis.

rip

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