What to expect from Playing for the Planet in 2024

by
January 17, 2024

2024 marks an important milestone for Playing for the Planet, as the Alliance celebrates five years since first launching at the 2019 Climate Summit in New York City’s UN Headquarters. Since then, we’ve held four annual Green Game Jams, supported the publication of dozens of industry resources, and grown to a body of 48 members spanning the entire spectrum of the games industry. 

But we’re always looking to do more, and the upcoming year has plenty in store for Playing for the Planet and its members. We'll be levelling up our existing work on decarbonisation and the Green Game Jam, but also expanding into entirely new areas of focus, all in service of empowering the games industry as a leading force for positive environmental change. 

Here’s just a small taste of what you can expect from Playing for the Planet in 2024 and beyond. 

Decarbonisation

Reducing the games industry’s emissions output remains an active priority for Playing for the Planet, and we’ve continued to see amazing progress from Alliance members working to draw down their carbon footprint across the full scope of the industry. We’re excited to be sharing our new Annual Impact Report later on in the year, which will offer more detail on all that members have achieved in the previous year, alongside some of the projects that we’re most proud to have worked on in 2023 as an initiative. 

One of those projects was a report published in collaboration with The Carbon Trust, which sought to untangle the carbon complexities of the games industry, and has now formed the foundation for a new Carbon Calculator being developed in partnership with both Alliance members and the Carbon Trust. 

Tailored specifically for games studios and publishers, the calculator will enable Alliance members to accurately quantify their emissions across Scopes 1, 2, and 3 via a bespoke tool designed to be reliable, user-friendly, and scientifically authoritative. We aim for the product to be used widely across the industry to facilitate more effective identification, monitoring, and reduction of emissions, while also establishing a more robust knowledge base for innovation in sustainable game design. 

The development of this calculator follows the critical work already spearheaded by Neogames and Jyros in the games sector on bespoke carbon calculation, and the final product aims to sit alongside these existing tools, so that together they may offer a comprehensive suite of options for industry players looking to measure and take action on their emissions footprint. 

Work on Playing for the Planet’s carbon calculator is well underway, and you can expect to hear more updates on it later in the Spring. 

Green Game Jam

Playing for the Planet will host its fifth annual Green Game Jam (GGJ) in 2024, which will officially kick off on February 15th, with registration already open for any developers up for the challenge of integrating Green Activations (environmentally themed content) into their games.   

While previous Green Game Jams have focused on translating in-game action into real world impact, this year’s jam is raising the ambition, asking participants to create Green Activations which can spark players into taking their own action on the environment. In short, our goal for the Jam is to rally 1 million players to participate in doable actions that benefit the planet.

For example, could a farming simulator encourage its player-base to engage in growing their own food through in-game education about the benefits of doing so? Or what about a cooking game which promoted vegetarian or vegan recipes for players to try out at home? Inspiring simple actions such as these can hold huge power in shifting behavioural change at scale, and games have a unique potential to ignite this impact through informed, inspired engagement with their player communities. 

The Green Game Jam 2024 is challenging participants to develop Green Activations that sit within three different thematic areas - Food, Waste, and Restoration - and we can’t wait to see what this year’s entries will come up with, using these topics as a launchpad for creative new twists on their existing game experiences.  

Download the GGJ24 starter kit here to find out how you and your players can take small actions that lead to BIG IMPACT and make sure to register by filling out this form before January 31st 2024. In case of questions, feel free to reach out to info@playing4theplanet.org. 

Exploring new horizons

In addition to our existing work projects, Playing for the Planet is also charting new ground in 2024 to further support our goals and purpose. 

This includes ongoing benchmarking on waste and packaging via the Alliance’s working groups, but also facilitating other conversations, such as those around opportunities for game engines in reducing industry emissions upstream, or the role of game characters, worlds, and stories in engaging audiences on environmental issues. 

Playing for the Planet will also be conducting further research into the impact of games in shaping real-world action and behavioural change, harnessing data collated through this year’s Green Gam Jam with the support of external academic partners. Our longer term goal is to establish a research community of practice, one which can support studios with academically verified insights and build on pre-existing evidence around the links between games and impact.

Finally, we’re always looking to expand our membership with new recruits to the Alliance, and just as we welcomed six new members in 2023, we hope to see even more join us over the coming year. Playing for the Planet will also be on the ground at a number of industry and trade events throughout 2024, including at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in February, where we’ll be hosting an African Green Games Summit in partnership with some of our members.

 

In short, it’s another busy, exciting year for the Alliance, and we’d love for you to join us on the journey. You can follow us on social media to stay tuned about our whereabouts, and don’t hesitate to contact us at info@playing4theplanet if you have any questions, or simply want to get in touch. 

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