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How the gaming industry is fighting climate crisis and creating a more sustainable world

September 10, 2021 in Community | 8 min. read
View of North America from space during the daytime
View of North America from space during the daytime
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We experience the impacts of climate change around the world, every single day. Game developers and industry leaders are combating the climate crisis by greening their practices and mitigating their own carbon footprints, as well as empowering their player communities to make a difference. Read on to learn about some of the inspiring ways the industry is leading the way and how you can play a part in saving the planet.

At Unity, we believe sustainability is critical and multifaceted. We integrate sustainability initiatives throughout our operations, product, and overall business strategy to offset the impact of the games industry and RT3D experiences on the environment. We support creators and non-profit organizations all around the world through our social impact programs and grants to prevent climate change, and uplift communities most impacted by the climate crisis. We are committed to empowering our entire ecosystem to use real-time 3D technology and tools to foster awareness and sustainable impact.

Carbonfund.org and Oceana

As a part of our Humble Bundle sale running September 1-30, 2021, we are designating two sustainability-focused organizations as beneficiaries of the charity proceeds: Carbonfund.org and Oceana

  • Carbonfund.org encourages carbon footprint reduction through sensible energy usage and cost-effective carbon offsets. They work with businesses and individuals to increase climate change awareness, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and plant trees for reforestation. 
  • Oceana works to protect and restore the world’s oceans on a global scale. They have protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean. Covering 71% of the planet, oceans play a central role in the world's natural systems by regulating our climate and absorbing carbon dioxide.

Read more about the charity organizations and bundle.

Sustainability in gaming

We are committed to using our platform to take action on the climate crisis. As members of the UN Playing for the Planet Alliance, we helped organize the alliance’s 2021 Green Game Jam. The Green Game Jam brought studios from around the world together to create compelling content and actionable steps for game players to contribute to a more sustainable future. With nearly 3 billion gamers globally, the game industry has a massive opportunity to make a positive environmental impact via the games we produce and the actions we encourage.

Learn about a few of the many inspiring ways creators are leveraging games to raise awareness about climate change, share more sustainable possibilities, make vital changes to their own operations, and activate players for the environment. Plus, find out how you can design your own green game:

Monument Valley 2 – ustwo games

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Winner of the Playing for the Planet Green Game Jam Participant Choice award, Monument Valley 2, is a visually stunning, narrative-driven mobile game with fantastical architecture and captivating puzzle challenges. Game players guide a parent and child through a mystical labyrinth in this game. 

Inspired by Peter Wohlleben’s book The Hidden Life of Trees, the Japanese art of growing trees (daisugi), and the UN’s James Speth’s call for a cultural and spiritual transformation, developers are adding a green activation, they are calling “A Tree in All of Us” to Monument Valley 2. This activation will engage players in new tree content to provide insight into the importance of trees and offer ways to donate and share information about conservation on social media.

Embedding reforestation education and giving opportunities into Monument Valley 2 is just one way Ustwo Games is creating a more sustainable future. They are also working to reduce and offset their corporate carbon footprint by utilizing more sustainable energy sources in their offices, and have earned themselves B Corp certification for their overall commitment to social, environmental, and transparency standards. Be on the lookout for new tree content coming to Monument Valley 2 in October 2021!

Dark teal background with light teal stairs and walkways leading towards an orange wheel with spokes, in the middle of the image

Angry Birds 2 - Rovio

Screenshot of Angry Birds video game with a white Angry Bird being launched from a slingshot at opponents in towers on a sandy beach scene.

The slingshot game known for its eccentric characters and deceptively challenging levels, Angry Birds, takes players into a unique fantasy world to defeat various obstacles. The Angry Birds gameplay style and world design lends well to incorporating environment- and climate change-related messaging and activations. The Rovio Angry Birds 2 team has demonstrated their commitment to sustainability in a number of ways over the years by hosting a variety of environmentally-focused challenges and content, offsetting the impact of players mobile play, and promoting real-life conservation campaigns.

This year, as a part of the Green Game Jam, the team hosted a community event that resulted in players learning more about oceans and taking part in a special oceanic adventure. Incorporating themes of ocean conservation and science in this multi-prong, in-game, and online format is a unique approach to involving players in marine environment protection, and gamifying impact.

Screenshot of Angry Birds video game with a dark background and an Angry Bird crashing into a wooden tower holding up green pigs.

Samudra – Khayalan Arts

Gif with dark underwater scene with text "Samudra Beta" overlayed in white

Samudra is an environmentally-focused, hand-illustrated, 2D puzzle game. Players adventure across a polluted sea to uncover truths about “surface-dweller” actions causing deep-sea pollution. The immersive fantasy world lures players deep into the ocean to understand the harmful impact of ocean waste and pollution without any written or voiced narration.

While playing Samudra, gamers are not only learning more about ocean preservation and environmental impact but contributing to real-world donations that are funneled into environmental nonprofit organizations and eco-activism in Indonesia. The combination of in-game education, offline donations, and the absence of narration makes Samudra accessible to a wide audience, presenting an opportunity to reach more players and create more activists for the planet. Visit the Samudra Steam Page to play a demo and stay up-to-date on its developments.

Gif with dark underwater scene showing trash burning

Samudra, Angry Birds 2, and Monument Valley all leverage real-time technology to creatively immerse players into new fantasy worlds and engage them with sustainability education and tools. Using the Fantasy Creator Humble Bundle, you can build your own fantasy worlds and share pragmatic visions of a more sustainable future that we can all work towards.

We are hosting a special Unity x Humble Bundle Showcase and you can submit your sustainability-themed project for a chance to have your game featured on play.unity.com and live-streamed on Unity’s Twitch channel. Gather more details on what’s in the bundle, and for creation inspiration, check out the Green Game Jam Winners to learn how other studios are harnessing the power of their platforms to advocate for environmental change.

September 10, 2021 in Community | 8 min. read
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