Leveling Up: Video Games for a Better World


Course description

In 2019 the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) released a report documenting how video games are empowering people around the world to protect the environment and, in fact, contribute to every one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development goals. This is a tremendously encouraging sign because it shows that the most ubiquitous form of entertainment on the planet can also be harnessed to promote justice, equality and conservation—and on a grand scale.

Using the UN document as a starting point, this course will demonstrate the value of video games in promoting a more sustainable and just planet. Examples of games will be provided to counter the common misconception that video games are useless or bad. Games are entering a new era, and just how they got to this point will be explained. Video games are now used to help with medical and psychological issues, promote good health and well-being, solve important puzzles in science and motivate people towards climate action and other worthy causes. The demographic for gamers is broadening—their age, gender and personal circumstances are getting more diverse. Games can be truly transformative for individuals and for societies.

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