Finding of the week #115

Computer Games and Climate Change

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I think about how computer games could be used to raise the global awareness of the climate change.

The International Symposium On Climate Change [1] took place in Rome from Wednesday to Friday and was broadcasted live via the internet. During this event, experts presented and discussed scientific data indicating the change of our climate, potential outcomes and threats of the climate change, as well as methods how this global problem could be addressed and controlled. The latter part, however, is a huge challenge as we do have to act now in order to limit the environmental issues of tomorrow. This is not an easy task as it requires actions and changes in the politics, the economy and our own lifestyle all around the world. Furthermore, it is important to raise the global awareness of the climate change and of possible ways to save our environment.

For instance, the climate change can not only be stopped by reducing the CO2 emissions as other elements do also play a significant role. It might be hard to believe, but the recent demand for meat has a huge impact on the climate change as well. The farms that produce all this meet cause a huge emission of methane which is also increasing the global warming and hence increasing the rate of the climate change.

At this point, I realized that computer games can be an effective tool to raise this global awareness as computer games can present and simulate the course of the climate change in a vivid and immersive way. Players can experiment around with different types of emissions and subsequently experience the effects on the virtual climate. Additionally, video games can be used to present and to discuss alternative ways of living in order to raise even the awareness of modern technology that can help us to sustain our climate. Moreover, computer games can be helpful to put all the predictions into perspective. The probably best outcome we still could achieve if we would take action right now, would be an average global temperature raise of 2°C. But what are the results of a global temperature increase by this amount? Virtual worlds would be a perfect tool to demonstrate the effects of this change. For example, the game could simulate the change of the world due to the raising water level of the oceans.

Anno 2070 [2] is a good example for demonstrating the effects of environmental polution. However, the game does not simulate a global climate change and limits the effects of the polution to small islands in the game world. Additionally, the game is not drastic enough as it is possible to reverse the effects by just exchanging dirty factories with clean ones. On the other side, the game presents and discusses the effects of environmental polution and thus increases the global awareness for global problems.

Now, we need more of these games in order to present and to discuss what is going on and how we could stop or at least reduce the effects of the climate change if we all start to work together in order to sustain our climate.

In the end, it is not only about saving the global climate, it is all about saving ourselves. The Earth does not need us, but we need the Earth in order to survive.

Moving the library!

After more than one year of good cooperation I took the chance and changed my reference management system from Citavi to Papers. It took a little bit of time (almost four days) to import all my (hopefully) relevant papers into my new system.

After these four days of intense work with it I can already state: Papers2 is just awesome! The import and match functions are really comfortable, highlighting helps a lot retrieving relevant passages and the Magic Manuscript is a great way to cite articles.

Can’t wait to start my work!

Master of Arts and a Ph.D advisor!

My master certificate arrived last week. I can now officially call myself master of arts! What an achievement! Wohoo!

Ok, back to serious business (and of course even more great news!): I found my Ph.D advisor! After a short meeting last year just before christmas, he told me the great news during a long phone call on january 18th. He told me also about the long and complicated path to the Ph.D again.
So, if I start to worry about my Ph.D and all the work I have to do, I need to remind myself of only one thing and only one date: It was my own decision on january 18th. No complaints!

Right now I’m trying to get a clear structure into my Ph.D research project so I can make a short run-through with my doctoral advisor and finally begin with my research.

Today, like Sheldon in the great Big Bang Theory episode „The vacation solution“ I took some hours off and had some interesting insight in biological work. I even pestled some dried lichen. Fortunately nothing was broken afterwards …

Chemistry

Soxhlet extractor (or as I would call it, the „Giant Lichen Coffee Maker“)

Master thesis submitted!

My master thesis just before submission

My master thesis just before submission

It’s done! I’ve submitted my master thesis today. 22.654 words all about gamification, soft skill training, soft skill assessment, e-learning and a possible implementation of it in the e-learning system „moodle“.

Success! Badge

Success! Badge

Many thanks to my supervisors, my friends and of course my parents. All of you helped me a great deal during the working process by giving me your support, new thoughts and additional ideas about how I could approach my work. Thank you!

Vielen Dank an meine Betreuer, meine Freunde und natürlich meine Eltern. Ihr alle habt mir sehr durch eure Unterstützung, neuen Gedanken und zusätzlichen Ideen zur Thematik bei meiner Arbeit geholfen. Danke!

I can’t believe it, but it’s already over. I was so involved in the working process over the last months, so it’s a strange feeling having finished the master thesis. On the other hand, I’ve some upcoming projects for the near future. Can’t wait to make them real!

Next up: summer school !

I did great progress over the last two weeks in thinking about the features of my gamifcation concept. The realisation or better the finalisation of my concept on the other hand is a little bit more complicated. I think, it’ll need some more discussions with my supervisors to make sure I’ve got the right idea of the final result I’ll present in my master thesis.
The good thing: I’ve coded a bit and managed to get a very small piece of my concept working!

The next week the „International Summer School – Media Studies“ is taking place at my university and I’ll be one of the participants. I’m really looking forward to discuss topics concerning Augmented Reality and E-Sports. I think it’s a great opportunity to get a deep insight into current research fields and of course getting new impressions and thoughts by discussing them with well-known experts like Jay Bolter.
The other side of the medal: I won’t have much time to progress with my informatics concepts.