New grant from MIT-SUTD IDC on an AR Game for Climate Change Awareness

Prof. Lucienne Blessing (co-PI, SUTD), Prof. Lynette Chea (Co-PI, SUTD) and Prof. Takehiko Nagakura (co-PI, MIT) and myself (PI) have just been awarded a grant from the International Design Center (MIT-SUTD). The topic of the grant is to build an Augmented Reality Game to stimulate Climate Change Awareness and support Project P280 within SUTD. The game design will be done by SUTD Game Lab.

The world is approaching its response to climate change through a mostly government led effort through the UN. Recently, Project 280 (P280) started at IDC which aims to induce curve-bending negative emissions and mitigation measures (Moonshot Problem). . To succeed, Project 280 needs to:
- Raise money
- Fund research and grand challenges that accomplish big projects
- Increase awareness and engage the world in solving the problem

In this proposed project, we will initiate Project 280 by creating an augmented reality (AR) mobile game for raising awareness about climate change, and that can be used as a platform to raise money in the future.

A key effort missing in the fight against climate change is using advances in computer science, specifically gaming, to engage people in an attempt to raise awareness and change behaviour. As Pokemon Go (built by Niantic Labs) showed, it is possible to engage people in augmented reality (AR) games to collect real world data while raising money in a fun and engaging way. Project280 can play a key role in leading the research around Socially Responsible Games. In this project, we propose to design and implement a prototype of a game that will:
1. Increase awareness of climate change problems.
2. Engage the community in and outdoors.
3. Encourage climate-friendly behaviour and social innovation
4. Address socio technical issues
5. Be based on scientific knowledge about climate change (evidence-based content)
6. Be used to collect data for research
7. Show the competences of SUTD in designing games and climate change related research
8. Provide a platform for future fundraising.
9. Build momentum around Project 280,

Through an initial prototype mobile app, we will raise awareness of climate change and build a technical framework that can easily allow for future extensions on different topics (e.g. other UN goals) and fundraising through gamification.