Inspire Collective Action

Remind players that changing the world takes more than gaming’s usual individualist heroics – lasting change comes from whole communities acting together.

The greatest disservice that games are doing to the planet could still be this endless nagging about how everything is up to me as an individual. This is an especially dangerous cliché, as it is echoed by all other media and storytelling traditions, even the news. Humans have some psychological difficulties empathizing with a collective, which is why our stories so often have these protagonists, these individual champions with the fate of the world on their shoulders.

The real world rarely works like that, but this all-encompassing trope of the protagonist makes it all too easy to forget the only thing that has ever really changed society: massive groups of people all doing things together.

So how do we tell stories about that when you can’t empathize with a collective? Soviet filmmakers tried and failed. But for the first time in cultural history, there is an art form where we don’t need to empathize with a collective because we get to be one.

Facing an issue such as climate change could be overwhelming for individuals. The feeling of being alone and not having enough power to change things could be hindering, but when we are part of something bigger we feel more powerful.

Foster collaborative mechanics.
Create games that encourage people to collaborate in order to win. Make players feel stronger together and inspire them to unionize.

Show the consequences of capitalism. Competition for resources, conflict and similar gameplay means can be powerful tools to enlighten players over the importance of a more sustainable approach.