State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Climate Game Challenge Finalists Announced


We are proud to announce the four finalists in the Games for Change Climate Challenge, an initiative presented by the Columbia Climate Center-led PoLAR Partnership, together with Autodesk and Games for Change. The Climate Challenge aims to inspire people through digital games to tackle the problem of climate change at local, regional and global levels.

A panel of judges selected the finalists to present their prototype live on stage at the Games for Change Festival in New York City on June 24. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize to support further development of their game.

Earlier this year, the Climate Challenge asked game designers, educators, students and scientists to submit a working prototype of a digital game focusing on scientifically grounded climate solutions, such as preventing carbon emissions, preparing for impacts, and/or promoting public awareness and understanding. More than 50 submissions were received from around the world, ranging across a wide variety of climate topics and design approaches.


Block’hood (Plethora-Project)

Block’hood is a neighborhood simulator with emphasis on ecology and entropy. By simulating the carbon and energy contributions of each part of a city, the game raises awareness and allows players to find solutions for climate change. It is also nominated in the 2016 Games for Change Awards for Best Gameplay.

Eco (Strange Loop Games)

Eco is focused on creating the real social systems, policies, and scientific understanding needed to effectively address climate change. Players build a civilization together in this virtual world where everything they do affects the ecosystem.

Carbon Runner (Pew Pew Studios)

Carbon Runner is a game about making environmentally conscious decisions. Players control the Green Ninja as he has to choose to collect or destroy items, which are good or bad for the environment.

Urban Climate Architect (Universität Hamburg)

This drag-and-drop city-building game helps players understand how we can get our cities ready to deal with climate change and its consequences. It focuses on which elements of the urban environment are important for the climate and how to reduce the effects of global climate change in cities.



Community PlanIt for Climate (WWF and the Engagement Lab)

Community PlanIt for Climate makes climate science and action planning inclusive, meaningful and fun. The game brings together citizens from all walks of life to a conversation with local officials to guide the future of their community response to climate change while kick-starting crowd-sourced local projects making an immediate impact.

The Games for Change Climate Challenge is sponsored by the Autodesk Foundation, Dell, Intel, NVIDIA, and the Columbia Climate Center, with support from the National Science Foundation.


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