Public lecture

Running out of Time: How Climate Change Games Represent Urgency and the Consequences of Inaction

  • 11 May 2022
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Virtual IAS

IAS Residential Fellow Dr Jason Hawreliak delivers a seminar on his research - "The consequences of continued inaction on climate change are well documented in the scientific literature and a common theme in popular media. Yet, in spite of the dire reports and well-intentioned messaging campaigns, far too many policy makers and individuals fail to treat the matter with sufficient urgency. One key contributor to this disconnect is a perceived lack of immediacy.

While we are already seeing the effects of climate change across the globe, its most severe outcomes are likely decades away, making it relatively easy to view as an abstract issue that can be solved later. In this interactive seminar, I explore how we can utilize the affordances of games and interactive media to virtually “shrink time,” illustrating the consequences of climate change in minutes and hours instead of years and decades.

I examine a number of existing climate change games through the lens of multimodality, demonstrating how multimodal analysis can provide insights into the efficacy of climate change games specifically, and game design generally. I demonstrate why certain climate change games have been more effective than others in communicating urgency, and how we might use these insights to inform our messaging efforts in games and beyond. A secondary aim of the seminar is to serve as a jumping-off point for a broader discussion of time, games, and multimodality."

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Kieran Teasdale
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