IAS faculty members serve as research mentors for the Pacific Science Center's 2019 "Games for our Future"

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IAS faculty members Jennifer Atkinson, Mark Chen, and Jason Lambacher served as research mentors for the Pacific Science Center's 2019 "Games for our Future" event, a three-day game jam focused on the theme “Creating a Green Tomorrow.” The Game Jam brought game developers and researchers together to learn from each other and show the power of games to translate complex environmental research into a medium that's both fun and educational. The event was co-sponsored by the Pacific Science Center, University of Washington's EarthLab, the Seattle Indies, and Seattle Serious and Social Impact Games, and included 60 developers who created over 13 games.

The event kicked off on May 10 with nine UW research mentors -- including Atkinson, Chen, and Lambaucher -- presenting on topics including game design, climate change, and collective political action to address our climate crisis (see the talks here).Teams then formed around 6 different research areas and participants spent three days racing to create their games (games can be viewed here). Some highlights included:

2 Board games

2 Degrees

2 Degrees (Won Judge’s choice and best gameplay) is a tile-based game about building a civilization to maximize wind turbines, forests, and high-speed rail, while trying to build cities and keeping temperature rise below 2 degrees. As temperatures rose, extreme weather events became more frequent, destroying tiles or altering the game play.

Rising Tides

Rising Tides (Won Best Aesthetics) is a game played on tiles the shape of the U.S. representing different cities. Tiles were elevated based on real world elevation data. You play as a climate refugee trying living in cities and getting resources from the city you can invest in seawalls, moving, responding to disasters, or in Green New Deal initiatives. The game is played in a Rubbermaid container and between each round water is added to represent sea level rise. Tiles underwater become unplayable and coasts lines change .

3 VR/ AR Experiences

Together VR

Together VRA VR experience in which players grow a tree in front of you.

Climate Utopia

Climate Utopia: A VR experience in which players explore a world in the future that is truly sustainable and embodies a quote from AOC that “You cannot be what you cannot see.” Developers created a future in VR that allow users to see what they're trying to accomplish.

Seed Our Future

Seed Our Future: An AR experience in which players plant AR trees and leave messages for future people using the app.