“Weltklimaspiel“ (“World Climate Game”) – Shaping the Future Together

The World Climate Game is an interactive three-day board game on climate change and sustainability. In a game world whose conditions and crises mirror the real world, participating students take responsibility for the global economy, geopolitics and social justice. They role-play as decision-makers from business, politics and civil society, and they have one century (10 game rounds) to implement an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable social and economic order. Due to the design of the game (app-based board and simulation game for school classes), adolescents can understand the complex interrelationships of a globally networked world characterised by interdependencies. They learn which conflicts of interest play a role and that they can only meet the challenges through cooperation and co-creativity. Working together instead of against each other resonates as a learning experience.

Keywords:

Climate education, political education, sustainability, SDGs

Initial Situation

  • Climate change is on the verge of becoming a climate catastrophe. This global challenge affects us all. Among children and adolescents, awareness of the problem is particularly widespread, and it is accompanied by fears for the future and feelings of powerlessness.
  • Two thirds of adolescents and young adults fear the future because of climate change (Hickman et al., 2021).
  • More than 80 % of Austrian adolescents would like more information and assistance, 62 % think that there is still far too little talk about climate and environmental protection at school. 57 % would like to do more but do not know how (Rohrer et al., 2020).

Solution Approach

The World Climate Game enables an understanding of the complex climate crisis through playful comprehension. It conveys the big picture through experiential learning and systematically shows solution strategies. The game experience has an enlightening and awareness-raising effect, whereby the joint implementation of a sustainable world situation contributes to the children’s and adolescents’ confidence and ability to act. After successfully solving the world’s problems through play, they share the experience: together we are up to the challenges of our time.

The Project

  • The project is in the pilot phase. We’re currently conducting three-day test games with selected schools and developing the game in a participatory way with the target group (secondary school level 1+2).
  • In addition, we’re testing the applicability of the World Climate Game in upper secondary schools as well as in the education of teachers and adults.
  • Interested schools from German-speaking countries can have tests of the World Climate Game carried out at their school, e.g. as part of project weeks.
  • Minimum duration three days, recommended group size 25 people.
  • It’s expected that the World Climate Game will be officially published and available for schools from 2023.

The Effects

  • Short-term results (output): imparting climate knowledge and understanding of the complexity of a global climate crisis. Also the promotion of life skills and self-efficacy.
  • Medium-term effects (outcome): well-informed changemakers who become effective in their living environment.
  • Long-term effects (impact): a more sustainable social and economic order.
Mag. Matthias Mittelberger

Contact

Mag. Matthias Mittelberger

Bibliography

  • Hickmann, C., Marks, E. (2021): Young People's Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon. The Lancet

  • Rohrer, M., Gferer, N. (2020): SOS-Kinderdorf Jugendstudie 2020. Vorstellungen junger Österreicher/innen von einer nachhaltigen und lebenswerten Zukunft. https://www.sos-kinderdorf.at/so-hilft-sos/einsatz-fur-kinderrechte/ein-besseres-klima-fur-kinder/studie

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“Gemeinsam stark werden” (“Becoming Strong Together”) – The Life Skills Programme for Primary Schools