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  • Susan

New computer game helps children care for the environment

As the new school term gets underway, a new computer game teaching children vital lessons on climate change has been launched by a north west social landlord.

‘Future Matters’ was tested out by young people aged four to 11 at schools, youth clubs and other community groups across Salford in June so ForHousing could hear their thoughts on it.

The innovative game has been designed by progressive landlord ForHousing to teach the next generation about ways to be more environmentally friendly at home. A mobile application version of the game is due to launch this autumn.

As players travel around a home, they face challenges that will teach them about being more eco responsible, and characters such as The Great Climate Wizard, a disguised grandparent, help educate the children.

'Bosses', with names such as Trashasaurus Rex and Sharky Malarkey, teach good habits to the children such as recycling and saving energy.

In the third level of the game, which includes settings for those with audio sensory difficulties, players meet Ducky McLucky and The Soap Kid. Through chasing a duck, children learn not to waste water by taking too many baths or staying too long in the shower.

It is just one example of the creative ways children learn to respect the environment through the new game.

Harry, aged six from Salford, said: ‘It was a fun game to play! Now I know what to do at home, I can help my Mum with the recycling because the brown bin is for glass bottles and cans, but the blue one is for paper and boxes.’

Mark Lowe, interim director of sustainability at ForHousing, said: ‘It has been so rewarding to see young people interact with the game already. Learning through doing is a great way to teach green habits, so we believe the game has the power to make a big impact throughout local communities.

‘It has also been great to work with tenants and schools in the development of the game. Feedback and the involvement of tenants and the community is extremely important to us at ForHousing – we know it is the only way to understand what communities need and want.

‘Decarbonisation is one of the biggest challenges of our times, and the game is our way of getting everyone involved, from a young age to help influence the next generation in a positive way.’

The computer game is part of a series of initiatives from ForHousing to help get tenants involved in caring for the environment.

Monthly group sessions give tenants advice on how they can contribute to saving the planet while saving money on their energy bills. Each session has a theme, such as food, waste, plastic, or transport.

Tenants can also take part in monthly challenges to have the chance to be nominated as a 'green champion' and win sustainable prizes to encourage them to make habits last.

‘We all have a part to play when it comes to looking after the planet. That is why we are putting all types of interactive support in place to make more possible for more people, and we are enjoying working with tenants, colleagues, and partners to make this happen,’ Mark added.

Play the Future Matters game here:


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