Promoting Climate Action through Immersive User Experience

This is what it might look like to have to virtually orient oneself in a climatically changing reality of life.

Knowledge alone rarely induces behavioural change, and this is also the case when dealing with climate protection. Most German citizens are aware of the climate crisis, but they are still taking insufficient action to reduce carbon emissions. The climate threat seems too distant, and people themselves are not affected enough. Can an immersive user experience of a climatically changing reality motivate individuals to take action?

Aims and approach
The Klima-ACT! project investigates the potential of immersive and multi-user-capable technologies to motivate users to act in a more climate-friendly way by enabling them to experience man-made climate change and its impending future scenarios. For this purpose, climate change becomes a (virtual) reality for users in a playful way, by locating them in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany. Within a virtual space, people meet on the basis of what they have experienced, thus creating a platform for strengthening the discourse between the public, science and climate protection actors. Klima-ACT! will initially be made accessible to users locally via cultural institutions, but it will later also be made accessible online and will extend to scenarios beyond Hamburg.

Innovations and prospects
Klima-ACT! is a call to action. Through immersive and interactive user experiences, it will strengthen the climate change discourse and a shared awareness of climate protection. This is the vision of an alliance consisting of various actors from climate research, games development, multi-user technologies and textile design.

Interdisciplinary project team
•    FTZ-NK – Prof Walter Leal, Maren Fendt, Franziska Wolf
•    GamesLab – Prof Ralf Hebecker, Maik Helfrich
•    FTZ Zentrum für Designforschung – Prof Anke Haarmann, Barbro Scholz
•    Exit Games GmbH – Christoph Wegmann, Arne Wiehe

Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Faculty of Design, Media and Information Faculty of Life Sciences