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How Can Games Save the World?

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)

Abstract

This chapter considers the potential for games to aid the climate crisis through promoting change or reflection in their players. It begins by considering the claims made regarding the uses that games may be put to for green or climate related ends, arguing that much of the literature suffers from a one-sided focus on the game object that neglects consider players themselves. Examination of the literature on games, learning and persuasion identifies several important barriers and constraints to effective game persuasion, in particular the ineradicability of the active involvement of the player in this process. This problem is especially acute for ideologically vexing issues like climate change. The chapter considers the game ARMA 3 and its aesthetic vision of a climate future as an alternative approach that avoids some of the problems presented by the agency of the (un)willing player. The chapter concludes by proposing that the difficulties facing games for persuasion and change is far more substantial than typically acknowledged, and that a better approach would render the views of players largely irrelevant. This approach would see us tackle the emissions and other harms of the games industry, changing the very world that games are played in, for the better.

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Correspondence to Benjamin J. Abraham .

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Abraham, B.J. (2022). How Can Games Save the World?. In: Digital Games After Climate Change. Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91705-0_2

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