If you attended grade school sometime between the mid-80s and late-90s, chances are you played Oregon Trail.
The game has you trek from Missouri to Oregon as a 19th-century pioneer with all of the perils that went along with it: broken axles, starvation, dysentery. Thousands died from the arduous journey.
A new educational game modeled on Oregon Trail hopes to teach users about the perils that civilization faces from climate change. The Climate Trail takes players on a journey from a survivor camp in the ruins of Atlanta on a route to a more hospitable climate in Canada.
The game combines elements from an old-school adventure game and visual novel to reveal how and why the climate crisis unfolded. It has various difficulty levels based on global temperature levels.
The easiest difficulty level assumes an increase in global temperature of 4-degrees Celsius. That is in the mid-range of current estimates before the turn of the century. The highest difficulty assumes a global temperature increase of 6-degrees Celsius, which would return Earth to climactic conditions not experienced since the age of the dinosaurs.
“Our mission is to educate everyone about the cause and the effects of climate change,” the developers say. “You will learn the scientific facts about what’s currently happening.”