It is Your World. Now Fix It.

Namaste. You are India. You want to develop a partnership with Europe on clean technology. Well, that’s not free. You have to pay 500 Nobel into a climate fund – a lot of play money in the new world currency. But later you receive 1500 Nobel from that fund to close a dirty CO2 factory. Is it worth it? You must decide whether this is a beneficial investment that world countries can work on together. Without such collaboration, the world ends up in a chaos.
But you are lucky. This is just a game.

“We know everything. So I wanted to bring the knowledge from the climate change conference to the tables of the families back home. I did that through a game,” according to Dr. Otto Ulrich, engineer, political scientist, and the game’s designer.

Volunteers from the conference discovering Cooling Down! for the first time

The board game “Cooling down!” enables players to take the roles of major world regions and decide upon the future of the world.

“The aim of the game is to improve your consciousness about the future,” Ulrich said. The future, however, is full of complex climate change issues that must be handled collaboratively and fairly.

Russia, for example, has to seriously consider how to solve poverty issues in developing countries. But can Russia afford to pay 3,000 Nobel for climate projects? Participants must make such tough decisions, recognizing that interdependence is the only path to viability.

The game’s target group is students 16 years old and older. “The game is not only for joke (just for fun),” Ulrich emphasizes, as the players must be able to build upon their knowledge about climate change. “Afterwards you are a world citizen. You start with the position ‘I’ and ‘me’ and later on we have the feeling of ‘we’ and ‘us,’” Ulrich said. To date 2,000 games have been sold internationally.

Dr. Otto Ulrich, engineer, political scientist, and the game’s designer.

It is a game to learn about the world, Oliver Hasenkamp said as he completed his first round. “The game seems well thought-out. But it is really complex.” This opinion is shared by a number of other participants who got a short glimpse of the game during a workshop at the 64th DPI/NGO conference.

A brief view is not enough to enable one to master the challenges.  “The game can last two weeks or two years,” Ulrich said. The climate change problems unfortunately last even longer.

By Bettina Benzinger and Manisha Deena

This entry was posted in News, Student journalist, Sustainability and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It is Your World. Now Fix It.

  1. Dr. Amaresh Gupta says:

    My congratulations to Dr.Otto Ulrich for his innovative and enchanting board game to gain knowledge on environmental challenges of our world. The befitting title “Cooling down” of the board game offers ways and means to encounter global warming. I wish Dr. Ulrich much success in his endeavour to unfold conscience on world climate change.

  2. David Kapfer says:

    Congratulations to Dr. Ulrich and the volunteers who could share this experience!

    I think this game sounds like something needed to enable a change in the thought patterns of the world conferences dealing with climate change in reality. Especially if there is really the opportunity for the participants to develop their group by playing the game into a global “we” consciousness which they can take home and transfer into real life situations.
    Could this game be played at conferences like Cancun or Durban or even decision panels of local leaders, could this perhaps enable participants to become more flexible and act out of greater perspective when confronted with the complex problems around global warming and the necessity of putting a price on carbon and other fossil fuels, taking over responsibility for the life conditions of the global human community of the future? And could it also develop an everyday-consciousness of the climate change problems for people who would not have time or capability to read the statements of IPCC or local scientists on climate change and how to deal with it?

    Thinking a game could have such an impact may seem utopian, but every change begins with some small steps. And I hope such an invention as Dr. Ulrich’s “Cooling Down” may become one of those seemingly little innovations leading the way there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>