Stephanie Pfirman, a climate scientist at Barnard College, and Ken Eklund, a Silicon Valley game designer, created an interactive website called FutureCoast, where people can leave voice mails "from the future" talking about how climate change is affecting their daily lives.
Pfirman wanted to move away from the “doom and gloom” warnings that might frighten people into apathy.
“We don’t say what the future is,” she said. “We ask people what they think it could be.”
There’s also a worldwide scavenger hunt game component to the FutureCoast. Eklund imagined the voice mails were actually 3D holograms in the future that ended up in 2014 as plastic discs which he calls "Chrono-Falls." Eklund designed the discs and then uses Twitter to send messages to people about where to find them. Once discovered, players take a code found on the disc, enter it into the FutureCoast website and "unlock" a new voicemail.
Gamers who hadn’t thought much about climate change are getting caught up in the experience.
“People won’t really start to invest themselves in your game unless you invest yourself in it,” Eklund said.