Announcing Temperature Check

Given the chance, could you successfully run your own city?

Created by Coney and commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, Temperature Check is an immersive table-top game aiming to spark change in how we think about planetary health. It places you in the seat of political power, giving you the responsibility to make decisions that can both mitigate climate impacts and improve the health of your citizens.

By exploring planetary health concepts within a game environment, Temperature Check seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between the climate crisis and health, and how it is possible to adopt “win-win” solutions.

We’ve been working with the Wellcome Trust, their team and their research, to develop a new table top game exploring co-benefits in Planetary Health – connecting human health with environmental health and, in doing so, discovering choices that can improve the health of both populations and the planet they inhabit.

Back in July this year, we unveiled the early stages of Temperature Check within an evening of games at the Wellcome Collection.

Temperature Check uses cards to simulate the experience of running a city

Since then the game has gone back into development, ready for its next sharing at One Young World Summit in London. One Young World is a fantastic global forum; identifying, promoting and connecting the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible, more effective leadership.

Lead maker and Associate in Residence David Finnigan said:

My second-most-favourite part of a new creative project is learning something new, digging into research and wrapping my head around a new perspective, a new way of looking at the world. For Temperature Check, the Wellcome Trust’s Planetary Health team introduced us to the language of ‘co-benefits’. This is a way of framing the planetary crisis that connects human health to the broader environment, and in doing so dissolves some of the traditional trade-offs between short-term and long-term priorities.

The first step of this process was to try to wrap our heads around this field of work, which involved reading research papers and asking a lot of – potentially obvious – questions to our science collaborators. Then it was a case of creating a game structure that illustrated some of the core dynamics at play within the planetary health system.

So far, pretty straightforward. We tested the first version of the game as part of London’s Climate Action Week in July, and it worked and held nicely with a group of brilliant climate activists from around the globe. But then the really fun part commenced: once Wellcome’s team of planetary health scientists saw the game in action, they were able to identify ways to deepen the message, and to tie the ideas of planetary health more tightly in to the playing experience. That’s my most-favourite part of the process – when we can show the experts a functioning game and we can harness their own expertise to improve it.

Now, we get to see what happens when we bring the new improved game to a whole new audience of young world leaders.

Temperature Check plays on 23 October as part of One Young World Summit, taking place in London from 22 – 25 October. Find out more and book here.

If you’d like to help us develop games like Temperature Check, join our Network to hear about opportunities to come along to free events like playtests and scratches.

Representing Coney are Harriet Bolwell, David Finnigan, Ben Jones, Michelle McMahon, Anne Odeke, Tassos Stevens and Segen Yosef

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