MOUNTAINCRAFT: Gaming the future of mountain environments to foster climate adaptation initiatives

 

Despite the multiplication of scientific calls about climate change, the public engagement towards adaptation and mitigation remains quite limited. Through fact communication on climate change and its consequences, we, as scientists, postulate that the main limit to public action is ignorance. Yet, obstacles to public action are multiple and include cognitive, psychological and ideological limitations (“the dragons of inaction”), that the sole scientific communication cannot solve.

Serious games are efficient tools to demonstrate empirically the on-going and future consequences of climate change. By fostering the gamers’empowerment, they foster public education and involvement.

Mountain environments are highly exposed and vulnerable to climate change, with observable consequences on snowfalls, the quality and quantity of water resources, biodiversity. The consequences of climate change in mountain environments put at stake many of the ecosystem services they provide.

In this mountaincraft project, we aim at developing, in collaboration with local stakeholders a serious video-game about the future of mountain environments. It capitalizes on the many numerical models existing for several mountain elements (glaciers, streams, rivers, lakes, forests) to create a simulation of an alpine landscape under several human scenarios.

This project is funded by the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur la Montagne and the “Fonds d’Investissement” of the Faculty of geoscience and environment of UNIL.