The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a new mobile game called Mission 1.5 that is intended to educate global citizens about climate change and let them vote on possible solutions.
Mission 1.5 will be promoted through advertisements in some of the world’s most popular video games, with the intention of reaching an audience not generally involved in climate discussions, the UNDP said in a press release.
"We have the ability with this campaign to connect millions of people with their governments in an innovative two-way discussion on solutions to the climate crisis," UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said in the statement.
The game takes players through the different sectors of the economy that are contributing the most to climate change, such as transportation, energy, and agriculture. It also introduces them to ways to reduce gas emissions, such as by improving urban planning and transportation, using renewable energy sources, and eating plant-based diets.
The votes on solutions that players make will be analyzed by researchers at the University of Oxford, who will deliver the data to government leaders and climate policymakers.
"People often feel disconnected from the leaders that must make urgent decisions on the climate crisis," Cassie Flynn, the UNDP climate change advisor, said, according to UN News.
"Mission 1.5 is a way to help people understand climate solutions and make their voices heard," she added. "In many ways, it is the People’s Climate Vote."
The hope is for the game to give 20 million people a chance to vote on climate issues, according to the UN.
The game was launched on Feb. 13, after being beta-tested last September, with over 1 million players voting. It can be found online at mission1point5.org.
The name Mission 1.5 refers to the pledge to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target set by the Paris climate agreement.
Going past 1.5 degrees of warming could subject 1.7 billion more people to extreme heat waves at least once every five years, introduce hundreds of millions of people to climate-related risks and poverty, and cause sea levels to rise another four inches, according to the Climate Reality Project.
However, meeting this goal would require widespread changes to society, and the world is currently “nowhere near” reaching this goal.