Polar Game


What can an artificial world tell us about the natural one?

The game’s players strive to influence the accumulation and melting of polar snow and ice. In order to allow a player’s actions to have clear & immediate effect, the complex forces that factor into polar climate are greatly simplified. The result is not intended to be a scientific simulation or to be terribly accurate in how it models the natural world. Instead, it is an interactive poem that presents a heightened reality.

Clicking on clouds causes them to condense and eventually precipitate into either snow or rain, depending on the temperature. As layers of snow accumulate on the ground, they compress into ice. Rain causes the top layer of accumulate snow or ice to melt. Solar radiation can melt the snow & ice–even when temperatures are below freezing, due to albedo (see the infographic poster for details). The darker ice is particular vulnerable to melting, but the sun’s rays can be tempered by causing the clouds to become more opaque.

Project and exhibition sponsored by the City College of New York’s CITY SEED grant program (Lawrence C. Bank, V.P. of Research and President Lisa S. Coico).


Science Advisor: Dr. Marco Tedesco
Game Advisor: Professor Ethan Ham
Graphic Advisor: Professor Ina Saltz
Game Developer: Grzegorz Lewkowicz
Graphic: Grzegorz Lewkowicz & Vladimir Golosiy