Conflicting Goals

Conflicting goals force the player to accept limited success, choose a goal to prioritize, or risk failure by riding the fence.


In the simulation game Fate of the World, players take charge of a global government entity that must prevent the earth’s environmental deterioration. The player must find a balance between multiple delicate and conflicting interests including competition for natural resources, consumer economies, and strategic military goals to keep the people of Earth on the right path environmentally and socially.



  • Balancing environmental goal(s) and other objectives helps players develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the environmental goal(s) at hand.
  • Deeper systematic knowledge arising from experiencing the tradeoffs of pursuing one goal over the other.
  • Translation of in-game systematic knowledge to real-world systematic knowledge when game systems are realistic representations of existing real-world systems.


  • Conflicting goals must be used carefully and with intention so that players do not internalize false understandings of the system being simulated. 
  • Provide the player with both factual information and the tools they will need to understand and interact with this information in a way that can lead to meaningful environmental learning.
  • Provide a realistic supporting context that generates intrinsic motivation for achieving the goals & helps the player recognize the connection to daily life.

From the Environmental Game Design Playbook
– by IGDA Climate SIG