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Playing Serious Games for Policy Change

China is a country with over 600 million gamers. What if all of this game playing could lead to good? With its Serious Games Initiative, the DC-based Wilson Center is working to communicate science and policy complexities through the world’s most dynamic medium: gaming. Most recently, the Serious Games Initiative teamed up with another Wilson Center project,“Storytelling is Serious Business,” to introduce local Chinese NGOs to how games like “Card Against Calamity” and “Eco Chains” could serve as vehicles for policy change.

In this episode, we chat with Beijing Energy Network veteran speaker Jennifer Turner, director of the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, and her colleague Elizabeth Newbury, who directs the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative. Jennifer and Liz share their experiences introducing "serious games" to NGOs in China during their most recent trip and discuss the potential for local NGOs to leverage gaming to improve China’s environmental policies. Jennifer also reflects on her 18 years of building bridges between Chinese and US environmental civil society and where Chinese green civil society may be headed going forward.

You can read more about the Serious Games Initiative on the Wilson Center’s website here. And if you listened to our second ever episode with Jennifer on “poo power,” you might be keen to check out the hot-off-the-press "InsightOut Issue 4 - Waste Power: Can Wastewater Revolutionize Pollution Control and Clean Energy in Cities?," also on the Wilson Center’s website here.

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