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‘Minecraft’ add-on gives gamers taste of climate change side effects

/ 06:01 PM August 28, 2018
Minecraft

Image: Twitter/@Minecraft

A “Minecraft” add-on, or game mod, added climate-change weather effects to show gamers negative impacts similar to the real world.

The aptly named “GlobalWarming” game mod, made by developer Nick Porillo, attempts to simulate the real-world effects of climate change into “Minecraft” as a way to educate gamers about caring for the environment, reports Motherboard.

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The game mod added several concepts into “Minecraft” such as the idea of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the game’s atmosphere. Things like smoke from burning, cooking or smelting ores would increase CO2 levels and trigger various weather phenomena. Some of these weather changes can also be observed in the real world.

Porillo got inspiration from a course on climate-change science, technology and policy last spring at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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“[The course] really educated me on the topics at hand. Last week I was just playing the new Minecraft 1.13 update after a multi-year hiatus from Minecraft. I was shocked at how much things have changed, and the ocean biomes updates really introduced the ability to make this idea happen,” said Porillo.

He added, “The (Minecraft) community believes there is potential educational benefit, so I’ve been working on developing cool ideas to make the gameplay fun and informational.”

Not all is doom and gloom for the game add-on. Players who install the “GlobalWarming” may also practice saving the environment by planting trees and other activities to offset in-game emissions. This in turn will help stop environmental damage on a large scale.

Porillo warned, “If the majority of players don’t agree to be near-carbon-neutral in how they play, then the carbon score will only continue to rise in-game. Once the damage negatively impacts the players, they will begin paying back that ‘debt’ they accrued.”

On the other hand, if players put effort in preventing the rise in emissions, then they can avoid the negative consequences altogether.

Porillo is still adding more features to the 5-days-old “GlobalWarming” mod such as a carbon scorecard where names players with the highest emissions can be put up for all to see.  Alfred Bayle /ra

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TOPICS: Climate change, Global warming, Minecraft, weather effects
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