Unity, the game engine giant he co-founded, David Helgason, has charted a new course. Leaving the world of spaceships and sprawling fantasy landscapes behind, Helgason is now tackling a challenge far closer to home: the climate crisis.

His journey took him from Copenhagen, where Unity was born in 2004, to his native Iceland. There, surrounded by the stark beauty of the Icelandic landscape, Helgason’s commitment to environmental action intensified. He readily acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis, emphasizing the need for solutions even for those who doubt human-caused climate change.

This passion led him to establish Transition Ventures in 2021, a venture capital firm focusing on climate solutions. Transition Ventures scours for talented entrepreneurs tackling environmental issues like biodiversity loss and ocean health. Helgason is impressed by the caliber of individuals working on these problems, highlighting the potential for significant impact.

But funding promising ventures isn’t his only focus. Helgason is also spearheading a new project called Cleanplay. While details remain under wraps until a September reveal at the Dice Europe conference, Cleanplay’s mission is clear: to transform video games from passive entertainment to active participants in the fight against climate change.

This project signifies a unique approach. By leveraging the immense reach and engagement of video games, Cleanplay has the potential to educate and inspire millions of players around the world. It’s a strategy that taps into Helgason’s background, utilizing the power of games to address a critical global challenge.

The exact form Cleanplay will take remains to be seen, but the anticipation is palpable. Can video games, once seen as a source of escapism, become a powerful tool for environmental action? With David Helgason at the helm, this next act promises to be a fascinating one.