The natural world is a beautiful thing. It keeps us alive and breathing, inspires us to create and explore, and it also grows all of the ingredients needed to make pizza. It’s pretty special. And it’s incredibly important that we all work together to protect it!
So that’s exactly what we are going to do, through the power of games! From 18th May to 1st June 2021, as part of the United Nations Playing for the Planet Green Game Jam(opens in new tab), Media Molecule will be hosting an environmentally-themed jam, in which players all over the world can participate by making amazing creations in Dreams to be shared with and played by everyone. The theme of the Green Game Jam is ‘Restoration: Forests & Oceans’.
Over this two-week period, you can take part by creating anything you can imagine that is relevant to the theme, with the aim to raise awareness for protection of global forests and oceans.
What is the Green Game Jam?#
Great question! The idea for the Green Game Jam came about shortly after the gaming industry attended the UN Climate Summit(opens in new tab) in September 2019, after which many members of the Playing for the Planet Alliance(opens in new tab) committed to harnessing the power of their platforms to take action on the climate crisis.
The Green Game Jam(opens in new tab) brings together a wide array of the games industry, including some of the biggest names in gaming, aiming to discover innovative ways to educate and empower players about climate change through games they know and love. The jam is hoping to reach and educate 1 billion players. (Did you read that in Dr. Evil’s voice? Yeah, us too.)
The initiative isn’t stopping there. Through players, the goal is to reach 10 million more planet-loving people to action their support by signing pledges to protect forests, and to get 1 million more signing to protect coral reefs - which would be the largest public pledge ever made! You can get involved directly by adding your signature to the UNEP Playing for the Planet pledges at either Play4Forests(opens in new tab) or Glowing, Glowing Gone(opens in new tab) (more details below).
Restoring forests and oceans#
Did you know that forests are our best line of defence against climate change? They absorb and store greenhouse gases. Every year forests remove one third of global carbon emissions, providing us with the clean air that we breathe. Over 80% of animals on land live in the world’s forests, so the protection of forests directly safeguards endangered species’ habitats, including jaguars, gorillas, orangutans, and lemurs - as well as shielding us from coming into contact with animals that are hosts for viruses like Ebola, SARS and COVID.
Globally, we lose a football pitch of forest every 6 seconds through deforestation, and at present 85% of global forest has been destroyed through deforestation. Between 2015 and 2020, 10 million hectares of forest were destroyed every year - an area roughly the size of Iceland.
It doesn’t stop on land. Up to half of the world’s coral reefs have been lost, and as temperatures continue to rise, coral increasingly dies. Reef degradation jeopardises one of the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. Coral reefs cover only 0.2% of the ocean floor but house a quarter of all marine life, as well as sustaining the livelihoods of 1 billion people globally. In 2020, UNEP partnered with the Ocean Agency to launch Glowing Glowing Gone(opens in new tab), calling for greater protection for coral reefs and oceans.
That’s why we at Media Molecule are so passionate about being a part of Green Game Jam 2021. We have so many fantastic players creating incredible things in Dreams, catching all sorts of eyes around the world - what better way to raise awareness for these two critical causes?
How do I get involved?#
Simply join the Media Molecule Community Jam from 18th May to 1st June, and dream up some creations around the theme of ‘Restoration: Forests & Oceans’! As ever, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. What about a game where you plant trees to bring forests back to life? Or a painting that shows how the forests, oceans, animals and humans are all connected? Or even a song about protecting coral reefs!
You can also take immediate action by signing one of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)(opens in new tab) pledge campaigns to demonstrate your support of protection of forests and oceans. Here are some links:
Forests: Play4Forests(opens in new tab)
Sony Interactive Entertainment and Media Molecule will support players in voicing their support by signing these pledges to restore and protect forests and oceans. Your pledges will be taken to world leaders at the UN Climate Summit COP26 in November to demonstrate your support for these causes. The pledges will also continue to advocate for forests and oceans at the UN Environmental Assembly in 2022, and be used as a key lever in calling for governments to take further action at other relevant summits.
Just as every individual tree supports the collective health of a forest, and each coral polyp supports the collective health of a coral reef, your individual voice strengthens a global call for a better future. If Dreams proves anything, it’s that together, we can make awesome things happen.
Want to shout about this on socials to get more people involved? Don’t forget to use the hashtags #Play4Forests, #GlowingGlowingGone and #MadeinDreams and tag @mediamolecule and @GGJ in your posts.
The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.