The word "fun" is probably the last thing that comes to mind when discussing work, government bureaucracies or geopolitical crises.
But thanks to a growing trend known as serious games, learning about such topics could get a lot more engaging.
"Games are an incredible tool for teaching kids critical thinking, decision-making, and analytical and problem-solving skills," said Anita Street, an environmental scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Science Policy.
The office is working on a game that calculates people's "carbon footprint" - their contribution to the global greenhouse effect, measured in carbon dioxide units.
It's just one example of the medium - often dismissed as frivolous - helping to explain sober and complex issues.