A curated list of resources to start you
on your playful journey
Books, including fiction, about how we respond to the climate crisis, the importance of joy and play, or both!
The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again (2021)
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet (2020)
Sarah Jaquette Ray
The Book of Delights: Essays (2020)
A Playful Path (2014) (Available online at aplayfulpath.com)
The Ministry for the Future (2020)
Kim Stanley Robinson
Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think is Critical to Solving the Climate Crisis (2020)
Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration (2022)
Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts
Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul (2010)
Stuart Brown & Christopher Vaughan
Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World (2018)
Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness (2018)
Ingrid Fettel Lee
All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal with Climate Change (2021)
Michael Rosen's Book of Play! Why Play Really Matters, and 101 Ways to Get More of It in Your Life (2019)
Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis (2021)
Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secrets of Games (2016)
The Deluge, a novel (2023)
Green House is a cooperative card game to help you turn your climate anxiety into hope and action. Every turn starts with an event, but you've got the power in your hands to do something about it. Plus, each action card is a real life climate solution that someone somewhere in the world is working on right now!
A deep, flexible, fun and engaging way of learning about your own carbon impacts. Needs a facilitator to work well and is based on the popular science book by Professor Mike Berners-Lee.
In this free, online game, created by the Financial Times, you take on the role of the Minister for the Future. You need to keep global warming to 1.5C by cutting energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 while simultaneously dealing with other greenhouse gases and protecting people and nature. The game is modeled on published scientific research.
Daybreak is a cooperative boardgame about stopping climate change. It presents a hopeful vision of the near future, where you get to build the mind-blowing technologies and resilient societies we need to save the planet.
EarthGames is a growing community of researchers, game developers and students who share a passion for games and the environment. Here is a collection of their games.
Podcasts, websites, & other media
Sometimes climate change is a laughing matter. Originally a podcast, this is now a website with other resources to take a lighter approach to climate.
With a PhD in climate science from Oxford, Adam Levy tries to make sense of climate change with humor-filled YouTube videos.
The late Bernie DeKoven's site including a blog about play and a collection games designed to help us practice playfulness.
Inside the Greenhouse
Students at the University of Colorado develop climate change-related sketch comedy for a class on creative climate communication. This is part of a larger project called "Inside the Greenhouse."
Connect with Lucy Hawthorne, a UK environmental activist and play enthusiast who uses LEGO and other playful methods to help others engage in climate work.
Rediscover the power of play, find out who is playing for a living, and learn how they pull it off to have the most fun possible in their life and career.
Stanford psychologist Andrew Huberman, PhD, discusses the transformative nature of play—how it changes our feelings, thoughts and actions and indeed, how it can rewire our brain to function better in all contexts.
What are you good at? What is the work that needs doing? And what brings you joy? Where your answers intersect is where you should put your climate action effort.