Explain the melting of ice to children is not easy. Questions like "What is the ozone hole?" don’t have an immediate response and are difficult to understand for the little ones, and sometimes even for adults. The British scientific community has thought of an effective way to explain the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice able to please the needs of this digital native audience.
The team of experts with the University of Exeter aid along with other universities, the British Antarctic Survey and developers Inhouse Visuals and Questionable Quality, has created a videogame for children and adults showing concretely the consequences of global warming on the ice Antarctic with no need to jump into the world's southernmost continent. ‘Ice Flows’, this the name of the game, is already available on the web (usable with any search engine) and as a free application for iPhone and Android devices.
Objective of the game is to allow penguins to reach the fish without falling into the jaws of the leopard seal. After having played a little the secret behind is revealed: know how to correctly adjust the temperature by bringing down the thermometer more and more below zero to reach the friend albatross or raise it above freezing to melt the ice and allow penguins to reach their lunch. Like any self-respecting video game, as you level up, obstacles interposed to reach the fish increase. After reaching, not without some difficulties, the fourth level, the game turns out to be interesting and attractive by showing how easy and fast the ice melts.
For Anne le Brocq, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at University of Exeter, the use of the game helps not only to see the system, but also to empathize the player in a playful atmosphere that will make him fully understand the behavior of the ice shell and its response to environmental changes. Always having fun, of course.