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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Tipping Points: Cutting Edge Climate Science to Inspire Your Next Game

Ricarda Winkelmann  (Professor of Climate System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

Impacts of global warming triggered by burning fossil fuels are dramatic, ranging from rising sea levels threatening coastal cities to triggering violent outbreaks of smoldering conflicts in drought-stressed regions. Thus, as an escalating threat, climate change has enormous artistic and narrative potential to be incorporated into games.

In this talk, Ricarda Winkelmann, Professor of Climate System Analysis, presents key concepts of climate science – extreme weather events, sea-level rise and tipping points – and, by giving concrete examples, shows how they can inspire setting, storytelling and gameplay – not only in "serious" games but in all kinds of interactive fiction.


Attendees will walk away with valuable insights from the latest cutting-edge climate research to make their upcoming projects more realistic, awe-inspiring and relevant.

Intended Audience

The talk aims to inspire all creatives working in the gaming industry, from writers and artists to directors and programmers. No prerequisite knowledge is needed.