Games are the new normal. The popularity and proliferationof smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices—coupledwith a wide variety of social networking platforms—providefertile ground for the incorporation of games into our livesin fresh, new ways. Whether it’s playing Scrabble on youriPhone or Farmville on Facebook, now millions ll theinterstitial moments of their lives with the simple fun thatthese programs and apps provide.As games have become ubiquitous, both the private andpublic sectors have begun to seriously look at the role thatgamication can play in their work. Game design, techniquesand mechanics, have something to teach those of us whoare seeking to engage people on issues of social importance.In the forty years that I have worked to build publicawareness of the need to urgently solve the climate crisis,I have always sought out new methods of communication—from my slideshow on three Kodak carousels (which evolvedfrom an actual slideshow to a multi-media presentation onKeynote)—to my work on An Inconvenient Truth, the “LiveEarth” global concerts, “24 Hours of Reality” on the web,and an app for the iPhone and iPad called Our Choice.Exploring the interplay of gamication and social change isa fascinating challenge, and one that I have been exploringfor the last three years. Clearly, there is tremendous potentialfor advocates to reach entirely new audiences with gamesthat are engaging, fun, and motivational.Recently, I was introduced to Piers Fawkes and thewonderful team at PSFK and for the past several monthsThe Climate Reality Project, PSFK and I have collaboratedin an open source “Gaming for Good” Challenge. I hopethat you will enjoy the results of this collaboration and thatit will encourage you to think creatively about socialimpact games.
Former Vice PresidentNobel LaureateFounder, The Climate Reality Project