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Published on April 4th, 2012 | by Lynn Fang

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Teaching Kids to Go Green By Playing Games

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fate of the world

Having a hard time explaining to your kids why the family’s going green? If you’re living in a typical neighborhood, kids are glued to their XBox and PC games. Kids love games, and they often don’t mind playing brainy games that teach them new things. Fortunately, there’s a few new games out that serve to teach kids to think green and become aware of the issues that threaten our world today. So while you try to lecture or teach your kids about things like climate change and planned obsolescence, also offer them games that raise their eco-awareness.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point is the most comprehensive stand-alone green game I’ve seen so far. As described on their website,

Fate of the World is a PC strategy game that simulates the real social and environmental impact of global climate change over the next 200 years. The science, the politics, the destruction — it’s all real, and it’s scary.

Your mission: Solve the crisis. But, like life, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to work through natural disasters, foreign diplomacy, clandestine operations, technological breakthroughs, and somehow satisfy the food and energy needs of a growing world population.Will you help the planet or become an agent of destruction?

Based on the research of Prof. Myles Allen of Oxford University, there are over 100 real-world policy decisions that can cause thousands of possible impacts, such as resource wars, famine, or peace. It looks to be designed on par with games like Civilization, Warcraft, Starcraft, and other PC strategy games.

For a less heavy and destructive approach, National Geographic has an online game called Plan It Green, where you play the Mayor of Greenville and your mission is to turn Greenville into the greenest city ever! Like an eco-friendly Sim City, your tasks are to build eco-friendly homes, beautify sidewalks with living plants, and create new green jobs.

The Greens is a web-based puzzle game for kids. All the games are set in natural or green environments, and they offer green tips like noticing the patterns of tree bark, going for a hike, and leaving no waste behind.

If your kids just like to play normal racing and shooting games without all the green, try pointing them to My Green Games, an collection of small flash games similar to Addicting Games. For every 1000 games played on the site, My Green Games plants one tree through their tree-planting partner, Trees for the Future. Since their launch, they have 1000 trees to plant in Peru and India.

For iPhone and iPad users, Face the Waste is an addicting game where your purpose is to sort items for recycling from the conveyor belt, and avoid letting your nemesis, Toxic Tim, from taking things out of the recycling bin and throwing them back at you! You get to learn recycling and waste facts while playing the game.

Do you think your kids would play green games? What do you think is necessary for them to learn the importance of living green?

[Screenshot image from Fate of the World]



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About the Author

Lynn Fang is an eco-conscious writer, thinker, and Conscious Business Coach. She writes about sustainable living, social change, and personal growth at her blog, Upcycled Love. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.



  • http://www.OneMansWonder.com Jeffrey WIllius

    Hi Lynn — When it comes to video games, I’m still struggling with whether or not it’s wise to embrace our enemy. Your suggested games sound good…for kids who cannot be dissuaded from video games or can’t otherwise go outdoors. But clearly the best teacher about the environment and our place in it is real, first-hand experience in Nature. The solution, as always, will probably have to be a compromise.

    • http://upcycledlove.com Lynn Fang

      Hi Jeffrey, it is a tricky situation. I do feel video games are a good stepping stone for urban kids who have no interest in Nature whatsoever. I don’t support that we spend all our time on video games, but it’s a possible solution for some people. Thanks so much for your comment.

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