How do you teach a younger crowd to appreciate and protect the ozone layer? By weaving the science into the games they play, apparently. As Eurogamer reports, the UN’s Environment Programme is releasing a Reset Earth game for Android and iOS that tasks you with nothing less than saving the ozone layer. You play as three teens from 2084 who have to travel back in time to ensure the signing of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, preserve the ozone and prevent the rise of a virus known as “the grow.”
The game is tied to a similarly-titled animated series. It’s billed as a “2D platform runner” with puzzle solving based on your characters’ unique abilities, such as hacking devices, slowing time and even exploding manhole covers. This won’t be a particularly in-depth adventure game or even a complex shooter like Fortnite, but that’s not really the point — it’s meant to teach science in an engaging way.
The Reset Earth game should be available on February 10th, or slightly later than the January 24th premiere of the series. We wouldn’t count on it changing the world when educational games often struggle to get large audiences. The timing is right, at least. With a renewed interest in climate science, there may be at least some young gamers (and their parents) willing to give this a try.