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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)

Catherine Price

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)

Ross Gay

A Playful Path  (2014)  (Available online at

Bernard DeKoven

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)

Elin Kelsey

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)

Anthony DeBenedet

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)

Leslie Davenport

Michael Rosen's Book of Play! Why Play Really Matters, and 101 Ways to Get More of It in Your Life  (2019)

Michael Rosen

Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis  (2021)

John Wiseman

Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secrets of Games   (2016)

Ian Bogust

The Deluge, a novel  (2023)

Stephen Markley


Greenhouse Game: Our Home is in Your Hands    

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!


World Climate Simulation (C-Roads)   

Your Climate Journey   

How Bad are Bananas?   

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.

Can Your Reach Net Zero?   

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

The Sweaty Penguin

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.

Climate Adam

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."

Climate Play

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.

The Playful Humans Podcast

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. 

The Huberman Lab Podcast: Episode #58 - Using Play to Rewire and Improve Your Brain

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.

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, PhD - How to Find Joy in Climate Action - TED talk

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.


U.S. Play Coalition -

The Playful University -

Professors at Play! -   Twitter: @PlayProfessors  Facebook: @professorsatplay

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