Welcome to Play Anthropocene
A fortnightly newsletter covering the intersection between video games and the climate crisis.
First, a big thank you.
Even if you’re simply scanning this post before moving on to more important things, or have already subscribed without (some frankly well-justified) hesitation, I’m delighted you're here.
The endless deliberations over which “content” to push in front of your eyeballs isn’t easy in the age of information overload, so it really does mean a lot when someone makes the conscious choice to welcome my words into their curated internet diet.
So, what exactly is the value in a regular newsletter dedicated to exploring gaming’s relationship with the environment? It’s a good question, but one that, to my mind, we have a fairly straightforward answer for…
Games have an important part to play in the climate crisis
Whether it’s using storytelling to shift perceptions, harnessing community power to mobilise collective action, or taking significant steps towards more sustainable forms of play, I genuinely believe that this industry can be a force for good in the global struggle against climate catastrophe.
Play Anthropocene aims to chronicle (and perhaps, even in some small way, influence) the journey towards that goal, covering both the positive developments that the sector is taking towards better planetary health, alongside its ongoing, environmentally hazardous blind spots which threaten to undo them.
What to expect from each newsletter
Play Anthropocene will be published every other Tuesday.
Each edition will contain a bite-size digest of stories summarising the latest developments in gaming and the environment from the previous fortnight, all lightly seasoned with deeper analysis, contextualisation, and editorial commentary.
I’m keeping the parameters for Play Anthropocene’s coverage relatively broad. We might look at a new game release with a resonant ecological subtext, cover the latest initiative from the United Nations’ Playing for the Planet Alliance, or discuss how a publisher’s new marketing campaign may or may not be considered greenwashing.
My hope is that each newsletter will give you an insightful overview of the latest developments in this space, not to mention an enjoyable read on each story’s importance, interest, controversy, and more.
What’s with that title?
I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a mouthful.
The Anthropocene is a term used to describe a new geological period that humans have pushed the planet into, one characterised by the extreme stress that our activity is placing upon its climate and ecosystems. It’s a word that, to my mind, encapsulates the totality of the climate crisis in all of its facets, and the way in which we’re feeling its impact across every fibre of our culture, including video games.
Play Anthropocene therefore, I hope, signals an intention to reflect on what it means to play in the Anthropocene; a time unlike any other in human history. Again, it’s hardly the pithiest title in the world, but we’ve crossed the Rubicon on name ideas now; no turning back.
Please do get in touch with any feedback, queries, or news tips you may have for me. I’m always keen to hear and learn from outside perspectives about how I could improve the format, content, or anything else, and so if you’d like to chat, feel free to reach out to me at PlayAnthropocene@gmail.com.
Otherwise, thanks for reading this far, and hopefully I’ll see some of you again in your inbox very soon.
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