8 Apr 2021

Climate Centre colleagues help renowned board game designers test their upcoming game on Climate Change

The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (‘Climate Centre’) are supporting game designers Matteo Menapace and Matt Leacock (of Pandemic game fame) as they design an upcoming board game entitled Daybreak, about the climate crisis. The goal: help this serious-yet-fun game capture issues of humanitarian concern. The game was originally going to focus mostly on climate change mitigation but has now evolved to strongly include disaster management and resilience. There are even plans to integrate forecast-based decisions and potentially a global funding mechanism for anticipatory action, similar to the FbA by the DREF

Leakock and Menapace wanted to seek feedback from experts to ensure the scientific accuracy of the game and engaged the expertise of the Climate Centre to do so, delighted to find both climate expertise and deep experience in designing and facilitating games for a new climate linking science, policy, practice and innovation, from rural Kenya to the White House. After several smaller conversations initiated in June 2020, four Climate Centre colleagues met virtually with the game designers to test the latest game. This experience was highlighted in two media articles in the New York Times and Wired. The articles demonstrate the potential for the game to increase participants’ awareness on climate change while having fun. 

The image shows a sreenshot of a Skype call with four people
Leacock, top right, with his co-creator, Matteo Menapace, bottom right, on a video call with Janot Mendler de Suarez and Pablo Suarez to test the Climate Crisis game on Saturday. (Source: New York Times)

“an excellent way of showing the feedback loops involved in climate change.”

Erin Coughlan de Perez, Senior Advisor, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

As part of its ongoing work with games, the Climate Centre aims to set up a systematic approach to playtesting to help improve the mechanics and dynamics of the new game (if you are interested in joining forces, please email suarez [at] climatecentre.org). Once Daybreak is launched, the Climate Centre will explore possibilities to integrate it in their future efforts towards awareness & advocacy on climate change.