Pilot Didactic Project Cologne Game Lab & IGDA Climate SIG

During the months of May and July 2022, a didactic pilot project was conducted within the framework of the Greening Games project. The project was designed and delivered within the existing module infrastructure in the B.A. Digital Games study program at Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln. 

The module Collaborative Projects is set within the context of the study program B.A. Digital Games.  During the second half of each semester Bachelor students of all three specializations (game arts, game programming, game design) collaborate together in practical interdisciplinary “Collaborative Projects” (Modules: Collaborative Projects 1 – 5). The pilot project was realized within the framework of the semester 4 Collaborative Projects focus on experimental games. 

The task was to design experimental games within the context of the climate crisis. The goal was to explore the medium of digital games as playable forms of critical thought. To do this, the students were encouraged to think more consciously and critically about game mechanics, visual and system aesthetic as well as narrative components that best fit the message to be communicated through your game. 

Additionally to Cologne Game Lab mentors, three external mentors representing the International Game Developers Association’s Climate Special Interest Group (IGDA Climate SIG). were invited: Paula Angela Escuadra, Trevin York and Hugo Bille. In order to gain background information on the environmental game design, the students were asked to familiarise themselves with the Environmental Game Design Playbook. They were asked to study the design tactics or any other parts of the playbook that they considered helpful for their project. There were 39 students participating in the project. They formed ten teams.

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