Five Ways to Game Global Warming

These online ecofantasies put the fun back into saving the planet.

The ultrahyped Spore isn't the only game where global warming is part of the virtual landscape.

SimCity Societies
(Electronic Arts with BP)
the goal: Evolve from farm to megacity, using BP's "alternative energy" module to avert climate disasters.
cool factor: Punish carbon-heavy cities with Transformerslike robots. tiny.cc/SimCitySocieties

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Planet Green Game
(Starbucks with Global Green USA)
the goal: Bike through town, "greening" public spaces, learning about real-life projects as you go.
cool factor: Soothing indie-rock soundtrack steals focus from pedantic quizzes. planetgreengame.com

Planet Slayer
(Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
the goal: As Greena the Worrier Princess, you save the planet from flocks of airborne shopping bags, winning...a hug from a koala.
cool factor: Cloying teen-girl color scheme triggers a Pavlovian aversion to excess packaging. tiny.cc/PlanetSlayer

Michael, Michael, Go Recycle!
(parenting community Kaboose.com)
the goal: Pick up cans and garbage, Pac-Man style. Bump into "litterbugs" to make green leaves come out of their heads.
cool factor: Kids will see right through this virtual chore. tiny.cc/MichaelRecycle780

Climate Challenge
(British Broadcasting Corporation)
the goal: Balance progress and popularity to stay in office from 1990 to 2080: Save Europe's environment; win votes by hosting the Olympics again and again.
cool factor: Playing power-crazed politician is addictive. tiny.cc/ClimateChallenge