Climatologist Creates Educational Board Game

By Ben Hamill - January 19 2020

Climatologist Creates Educational Board Game

Science needn’t be and isn’t boring. This we know from many afternoons spent watching Bill Nye the Science Guy do his science-magic on the telly. Bill Nye explained to us in simple and engaging terms a topic previously regarded as accessible only by super-smart minds resembling that of Albert Einstein. Until Bill came along, that is. And now that Winnipeg climatologist Ryan Smith has come up with a board game presenting the issues and questions around climate chance in a completely new and fun way, the same may soon be said for the particular challenges facing the environment.

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Tipping Point is the work of a man who is a climatologist by day and a keen player and lover of board games during his time away from the office. Passionate about board games, Smith describes his board game creation as a new way to engage with climate science and says that the game is a very different approach the subject when compared to the multiple lectures that he (Smith) has delivered to his students.

Planning A Greener Future

Full name “Tipping Point: The Climate Change Card Game” is at its core a “semi-cooperative” game that allows players of the game to construct and plan cities and then proceed to protect the citizens of those cities by coming up with solutions for combatting severe weather conditions that are typically caused by the build-up of harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

What the game basically does is to educate about the cause and effect of each person’s actions. Players have a variety of options at their disposal as to what type of cities they want to construct. The differences lie with the infrastructure of each chosen city. The options range from including green options like forests and wetlands to choosing to try and make a success of oil wells and various kinds of power- and production plants.

What We Do Affects Others

The game educates about how any decision taken in terms of infrastructure has an effect on every other player playing the game. Some players end up experiencing severe and threatening climate changes and weather conditions prompted into action by the poor decisions on the parts of others. A valuable lesson is to be learnt from this and its bound to actually “stick” because of the fact that the principles of science behind the theory of cause and effect specifically related to climate change are presented in a fun and very engaging way.

Smith says what had prompted him to create the game was the thought of his two-year old son and how climate change is affecting his future. Smith is of the opinion that the world is in need of “creative solutions to” an “incredible global problem”.

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