How can play help build our resilience and ability to adapt to massive challenges like climate collapse?

Last week I had the pleasure of playtesting a new game with the crew from Amble Studio exploring that question.

It takes a planetary crisis and zooms in to see how this unfolds in a local community. Players grapple with events they may encounter in the next 10 years as the Earth warms, and weigh up what they can do about it – starting where they are, using what they have.

It was a fantastic example of how play can open up themes of individual vs collective action.

We began with a strong focus on we can do to keep our home in order, and slowly opened up to find ways to connect with community to build greater shared resilience.

I particularly enjoyed the tension of balancing the needs of our systems and structures to keep them fit for purpose, but also our needs as individuals maintaining our own wellbeing and desire to thrive.

I did not expect just how energised and capable I would feel after spending a few hours playing out how climate collapse could impact the place I live and work. It was a surprisingly hopeful experience.

And that’s part of the power of play.

In play we take actions, find paths forward, try different approaches and create new hopeful stories that guide the way.

I’m so excited to see the next iteration of this game, and to learn what happens when it meets it’s first local community in early December.

If you’d like to see how this game could be adapted for your local area, reach out to friendly folk at Amble Studio, or reply and tell me a little about what you have in mind.