Al Gore Lauds Ecological Potential Of Games

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Al Gore Lauds Ecological Potential Of Games

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Videogames have an unrivalled ability to entertain, but they can also provide valuable tools in making the world a better place, according to former Vice President Al Gore.

In a recent speech at New York University, Gore, who served as VP under 42nd President Bill Clinton and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, lauded the industry's growth, despite the ongoing worldwide economic strife. "This is a sector of the economy that justifies that optimism," he said.

"This is a very large, extremely significant industry with a wildly diverse and rapidly-growing audience of players on all kinds of platforms. We already know the immense power of popular media to illuminate issues that can seem intractable and overly-complex, but can be illuminated and presented to general audiences in a way that invites people to become involved in trying to solve the problems that our society has to solve."

Since his days as America's second-in-command, Gore has dedicated his time and significant resources toward raising awareness on a number of ecological issues. In addition to investing heavily in a number of green technologies, Gore has spent years educating people on the dangers of global warming via a surprisingly interesting slide show, which was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth.

Games, Gore believes, offer a new way to educate and inform the masses, as well as garner support and an interest in active involvement. "It has been very exciting to me to see so many ideas that integrate social good and efforts to make the world a better place into games," he said.

Specifically, Gore cites games that leverage the cooperation of groups and far-flung social communities, such as Zynga's wildly successful Farmville.

"These social communities say something positive about us and what gamification can do. This industry is sometimes defined by some of the lowest common denominator games ... but the cooperation over competition, and the social rules aspect is gaining momentum."

"I've been encouraged by recent developments like Trash Tycoon and Oceanopolis, and both have spurred my thinking in this area. In closing, I want to say that I'd love to work with any teams that are interested in making games that are focused on solutions to the climate crisis. I look forward to getting to know this community better," Gore concludes.

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think Gore's message is a valid one. Games, moreso than any other entertainment medium, have a capacity to enlighten and motivate people regardless of religion, culture or skin color.

If teenagers can instantly spot the minute differences between an M16 and an MP5 after a few hours with Call of Duty, they can certainly learn to conserve fossil fuels, given the right game.

Of course, that's the crux of the whole thing. It's up to developers to find a way for ecologically beneficial games to engage the average person. The audience is there, they just need the right game to motivate them.

Source: Gamasutra

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Gaems are super serial!

Why is it I get the feeling that Extra Credits will do a video on this now?

Otherwise, despite not being a Gore fan, I am not bothered at this. It almost makes up for the fact that I had to watch the same darn movie every year in science class.

SupahGamuh:
Gaems are super serial! Excelsior!

Ninja'd.

Well now I have no Al Gore southpark jokes to make, I'll have to comment seriously.

Umm. . . that's cool Al, I'm glad to see a politician taking the side of video games.

M16 and an MP5



Minute you say? They look nothing alike. Sights, stock, magazine, handgrips, all completely different.

As for Al Gore I stopped taking him seriously as soon as he said Farmville.

Ehhhh.... Not so sure on this...

The vision I have before my eyes is of some crappy game you are forced to play in school.

Seriously, this kind of stuff stops being fun once you realize someone is trying to educate you. It needs to be subtle. The kids arent allowed to know they are being educated, lest they realize it and wipe out anything they learned.

My research on the on the "internet" say that Al-Gore was one of the main senators that supported the establishment of what we use daily and know of as the Internet.
Look it up, I'm super cereal.

My main concern is that any eco-conscious game made will be a playable version of Captain Planet.

No mention of Katamari Damacy?

No one praises the prince for cleaning up the world.

I don't see the top video game developers putting in ecological messages...

That would just make them seem patronising.

Man bear pig boss fight!

I thought the general thinking on global warming was that it is a load of bunk? why is he still beating that horse for photo ops.

I am sure game have been and will be used to teach stuff, heck when i was a kid we had apple 2s or something like that with educational games when i was in grade school.

WE had speak and spell and other toys that taught kids how to do stuff, is it worth noting at all this day and age that saying games can be used to teach stuff is groundbreaking or new is silly.

If he wants to try and stick his bs about the ice caps melting and all of us dying and crap, great contact a few game studios pitch your idea, seem if any of them run with it. holding a press conference like the whole world should be waiting with baited breath to see what games the mighty gore can produce or whatever is moronic and self important.

Well, not sure what to say about this...

ABORT! ABORT!

Cut your losses now before you make a Captain Planet game. We're already going greener with digital distrabution, just leave us alone.

Edit: I don't need advertisments for posting, just the standard random jiberish will do.

In a recent speech at New York University, Gore, who served as VP under 42nd President Bill Clinton and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, lauded the industry's growth, despite the ongoing worldwide economic strife. "This is a sector of the economy that justifies that optimism," he said.

Didn't Russ mention something in today's podcast about video game purchases being DOWN last year, and that's why E3 had a severe case of sequelitis? Does someone have numbers?

In addition to investing heavily in a number of green technologies, Gore has spent years educating people on the dangers of global warming via a surprisingly interesting slide show, which was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth.

So he invests in green companies then goes around telling people they need to go green? I'm not questioning the message, seen way too many fights on that topic, I just don't trust comments from a person who jets around telling people they need to buy his stuff.

Games, Gore believes, offer a new way to educate and inform the masses, as well as garner support and an interest in active involvement. "It has been very exciting to me to see so many ideas that integrate social good and efforts to make the world a better place into games," he said.

Specifically, Gore cites games that leverage the cooperation of groups and far-flung social communities, such as Zynga's wildly successful Farmville.

Okay, now I definitely don't believe him. Praising Zynga's skinner-box-filled-with-concentrated-marketing as a force for social good? Have I missed something? The only social element I've seen to Zynga's games is a drive to rope your friends into the habit. Some alcoholics and drug users do the same thing to sober friends, it's not a good thing. Have Zynga changed since last I looked?

"These social communities say something positive about us and what gamification can do.

Good lord, Zynga is better proof of the evil that can be done with gamification. They use the tools talked about in Extra Credits to power a money machine, not to power any engine of improvement like education or even the environment.

"I've been encouraged by recent developments like Trash Tycoon and Oceanopolis, and both have spurred my thinking in this area.

Balance of the Planet by Chris Crawford. From 1990. The idea of a game of this sort is not recent.

This has been happening for years, just nobody noticed. Go youtube the intro video for almost any future war or post-apocalyptic game and you'll hear faux-news clips talking about oil shortages and gas prices being the leading catalyst for the conflict.

Al, when you trade the Prius and the Learjet in for a sensible Jetta TDI, we'll talk green. 'Till then, blow it out your ass!

Why is he mentioning Farmville but not Fate of the World? The latter is an excellent example of how to use the medium to this cause, Farmville is most definitely not.

The only Gore I want in my games is the Bloody type.

Take the whole enviromentalist movement, stick it in a rocket, strap Al to the nosecone and shoot it into the sun. Far, far away from the gaming industry.

cerebus23:
I thought the general thinking on global warming was that it is a load of bunk? why is he still beating that horse for photo ops.

I am sure game have been and will be used to teach stuff, heck when i was a kid we had apple 2s or something like that with educational games when i was in grade school.

WE had speak and spell and other toys that taught kids how to do stuff, is it worth noting at all this day and age that saying games can be used to teach stuff is groundbreaking or new is silly.

If he wants to try and stick his bs about the ice caps melting and all of us dying and crap, great contact a few game studios pitch your idea, seem if any of them run with it. holding a press conference like the whole world should be waiting with baited breath to see what games the mighty gore can produce or whatever is moronic and self important.

The general thinking is not that global warming is a load of bunk. Climate change is a serious problem. Many scientists are working on ways to slow it down while humanity transitions to using cleaner energy.
Edit: AL Gore is getting obnoxious, though.

I really hate Al Gore. The fact anyone takes him serial (serious) astounds me.

Xan Krieger:

Minute you say? They look nothing alike. Sights, stock, magazine, handgrips, all completely different.

As for Al Gore I stopped taking him seriously as soon as he said Farmville.

I think he was refering to the fact that there are a lot of call of duty gamers who can tell what gun they are being shot at with after only a short period of playing.

cerebus23:
I thought the general thinking on global warming was that it is a load of bunk? why is he still beating that horse for photo ops.

Ummm aside from the in the US it is a well accepted fact that global warming is indeed real and an issue.

There's no denying that he's gotten pretty damn annoying and preachy, but he's also been helpful in bringing light to the issue.

Gamification could be a fine approach to how the issue is interpreted.

cerebus23:

If he wants to try and stick his bs about the ice caps melting and all of us dying and crap

Too bad all of that is actually happening. Do some research. Stop watching Fox. I know Gore is a bit of a tool but at least he is trying. The state of the environment is an issue and a very big one at that. I shouldn't have to explain why.

News flash the earth has been warming and cooling for eons, the earth has been decimated several times and supported life again, and there is 0 evidence that anything humans has done has done anything to the normal transitioning from an ice age into a warming period, no there is nothing definate about what is causing any "climate change" nor anything that says we can do jack squat about it if it is just the normal warming and cooling of the earth.

Al gore spins a bunch of bs and outright lies and wins a nobel prize. course that seems to be the trend for the nobel these days with liars, murders, genocidal mainiacs, and etc winning prizes in recent decades.

ANd i will take a warm up over an ice age anyday since the beaches a few miles closer is alot less troublesome, than most of n america and europe covered in miles of ice. For the amount of time they have been studying stuff, all we know is that in the 1970s we were all going to die of an ice age, then suddendly oh wait nm the earth is actually warming, then we got oh 20 ish years of research on a climate that has been going along for the last 200 some million years and nm beyond all that when during the reptile ages the earth was much much warmer and humid. But after those 20 years we still have no conclusive and definitive proof that any change is cause by humans, since no matter how you slice it the amt of trace "greenhouse" gases and such that we give off levels have not gone up and are fairly minute in contrast to say half a land mass exploding and releasing metric tons of ash, toxic gases, and lava for several years.

Uh, is he talking about the ability of games to foster problem solving skills in the people that play them, and problem solving happens in Farm-vile where? Or you could I don't know, invest in R&D projects or have people science value science to bring about what he is preaching about. Although, who would ever want to pay other people to think mister scientist.

Daystar Clarion:
No mention of Katamari Damacy?

No one praises the prince for cleaning up the world.

Clearly you havn't read this:

Don't trust him! Remember, this is the same man who tried to tell us he invented the internet! He's a liar . . .
Wait, what? he's on *our* side? Huh.

. . .

I guess what they say about the broken clock is true.

Mass Effect taught me to be eco friendly. Especially considering I didn't realize just how abundant Hydrogen was in the Universe, seriously it's like trash.

cerebus23:
I thought the general thinking on global warming was that it is a load of bunk?.

lulwat? The general thinking by people who to prefer to close their eyes and cover their ears and pretend there's no problems. The same people who will spout how many scientists disagree with this theory of climate change, rather than looking at what the scientific community, as a whole, is saying.
The general thinking, however, of people who have any idea what they are thinking about, is that climate change is happening, and humans are contributing.

Okay Al, you show me a game about Global Warming and selling carbon credits and I'll show you a bankrupt studio.

I played a game about the environment once... it wasn't very good, I gave up after a few minutes.

So, maybe... that's the solution? Accept the environment isn't very good and just give up on it? Am I doing this right guys?!

mr. gore there is a HUGE difference between a M16 and MP5 for starters the MP5 is a SMG whilst the M16 is a AR.

Hey Al, I have an "Inconvenient Truth" for you too.

You're still not president.

Of course it's about recycling and the environment, I knew it had to be if it was Al Gore. Really don't want a Recycling Mama.

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