Former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore, isn't done spreading the word about climate change. The Climate Reality Project, which he founded, has launched a new social media website called RealityDrop.org that applies gamification theories to the work of combating climate change skeptics.
What does that mean? It means you earn points for telling your Uncle Bob (or any random Internet troll) that a big snow storm doesn't mean that global warming is over.
According to the website:
Dirty Energy companies and their allies have spread lies and confusion about climate science. Their “think tanks” produce false theories. Their “experts” spout false claims. They flood online comment streams with false information.
The result? People still aren’t sure whether we should do anything about climate change—or if it’s even happening. The media doesn’t report the facts straight about climate change—or worse yet, they don’t cover it at all.
Reality Drop’s mission is to reveal the denial and deception around climate change, spread the truth, and clear the way toward real solutions.
The website is a little like a news feed for all articles about climate change around the web. The site aggregates the articles, then rates them as true or false. Visitors earn points by "dropping reality," which includes sharing articles the site deems true with their social networks, or posting a comment refuting climate change deniers on articles the site deems false.
The more people play, the more points they can earn, and the higher they can rank on the site's hierarchy, from rookie to chief.
By applying gamification to the problem, RealityDrop hopes to engage people by engaging their competitive nature, and the natural tendency of people to respond to being given concrete tasks and positive reinforcement for completing those tasks.
Critics, however, suggest this is little more than "astroturfing" with a new spin. Although the people commenting on the articles are real, the soundbites the site suggests they use are canned responses—and dubiously likely to change minds. Still, the goals are laudable, and the implementation cutting edge.
Learn more about the site in the promotional video below.