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Greener games for game developers
Design patterns to craft green messages into games and reduce production impact.
SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge
A modified version of SimCity designed to teach systems thinking.
Erode Social License
Call out the corruption, deceit and propaganda of polluting industries, real or fictional, and help ruin their hard-won prestige in the real world!
Showcase a Climate Solution
Normalize real-world climate solutions by incorporating them into your world lore, story, and/or game mechanics.
Save the Sperm Whales
Beyond Blue has the player studying a specific pod of sperm whales and investigating sound pollution that disturbs their life.
Movement Building Games
Meet the games that lay the foundation for a new genre of movement building.
Transactive Learning & Transformational Play
When player action significantly impacts the game world in ways that are visible and persistent, it can boost emotional engagement and sense of self-efficacy.
Forums, fan groups, Let’s Plays, E-Sports commentary, UGC, and/or modding communities can add depth and meaning to the experience.
Facilitation & Communication
Facilitators guiding the discussion after gameplay can prompt questions to guide thinking, mitigate confusion, and create deeper understanding.
The act of collaborative problem solving (with players or NPCs) can greatly increase the effectiveness of a player’s learning experience.
At worst, competition without meaningful context has the risk of actively encouraging anti-environmental behaviors and thinking.
Simulations that directly and accurately reflect a real-world system can build incredibly rich system knowledge.
Collecting Scientific Data
Game designers can gamify the collection of data such as gas levels, electrical consumption, and water quality.
Real World Action
Real World Action Games (RWAGs) require players to take action outside of the game, such as engaging with nature or reducing their carbon footprint.
Investment in Specifics
Including specific places or developing named, fleshed-out characters can encourage emotional investment in protecting those places or creatures.
Conflicting goals force the player to accept limited success, choose a goal to prioritize, or risk failure by riding the fence.
Emotional connection to environmental issues can be approached through design of visual art, audio or force feedback.
When used to consider real world situations, no-win scenarios can force a player to reconsider the validity of a solution they may take for granted.
New Goal Orientation
By working towards new, unfamiliar goals, players build empathy, learn, and think critically about solving real world issues.
Players can be made to confront difficult truths or experience difficult situations by forcing discomfort through audio-visual elements, or social norm violation.
Experimentation & Inquiry
Experiment-based gameplay leads to model-based reasoning and systematic knowledge.
When understanding the target concepts is necessary to interact with the game, learning becomes fun.
Simplifying or removing the context can enable players to process new information - even if it’s not in alignment with their existing biases.
Taking on the role of a character allows for low-risk experimentation with different points of view to which the player may otherwise not be exposed.
Origins of Lanayru Desert
That time when Zelda offered an environmental parable.
Settle With Care
What does a settler game that takes environmental consequences into account look like?
Survival games can think seriously about which methods of power generations are available to the player, and how they're portrayed.
Repair, Re-use, Recycle
In-game economies can be circular economies - build player habits of repair and re-use, and raise the value of junk.
Cooking systems that dabble in plant-based food can both inspire and teach real recipes.
A Simpler Life
We can represent happy lives that do not rely on consumerism, to deprogram the toxic dream of buying ever more […]
The Sustainable Living Buffet
The SIMS 4: Eco Lifestyle acts like a tasting platter of individual climate action, where everybody can find little things […]
Community Cleanup Events
Many types of climate action are better tackled collectively, so games could encourage players to connect with other players to […]
Players can be encouraged to support or contribute to climate organizations, like NGOs and charities.
Rewarding Real-Life Actions
In contexts where the intrinsic motivation of doing good deeds isn’t enough, we can also add an extrinsic motivation by […]
Games can push players out of their comfort zone and question their assumptions, like Spec Ops: The Line did by […]
Building Emotional Resilience
Spiritfarer makes players practice grieving for the loved ones we lost, building their emotional resilience and training them for when […]
Skills We’ll Need
Games can teach new life skills; directly usable in our everyday lives and necessary for a sustainable yet uncertain future.
The Joy of Good Deeds
Games can let players experience the joy of doing good deeds, to encourage them to re-enact them in real life. […]
Virtual Pandemic, Real Insight
Developers can ground games in real Earth science and data, rather than making them purely fictional. Plague Inc. isn’t just […]
Give Peace A Chance
To counteract our habits of equating conflicts with violence, games should allow peaceful resolution to conflicts. The Dishonored series does […]
The Limits of Hoarding
Hoarding items is a staple in many videogame genres. In RPG’s in particular, players often build up such vast stashes […]
Games can give the opportunity for trial and error in safe environments (Experimentation & Inquiry). In Fate Of The World, […]