Locality & Local Knowledge

While limiting in its scalability, local games are highly focused and have shown significant, measurable impact on communities in a variety of contexts.


Researchers in Germany have increased involvement with local protected lands by hosting AR/MR location-based games that teach players how to preserve local watersheds and protect local wildlife. 

Real-world action (RWAGs) can be added by prompting players in a given region to participate in local watershed-related volunteer activities for in-game rewards.


    • Local knowledge can drive efficacy even more than general knowledge, can help to build repositories of local expertise, and raise community-driven efforts.
    • Local games can have direct impact on local communities, including environmental or economic improvement. These games can also be excellent platforms for crowdsourcing important environmental knowledge.
  • Local games build communities that can build hope and encourage further action within and without the game.



    • Locality games are often RWAGs (see above). The combination of real world involvement and solving of a local issue naturally encourages players to engage with the game and the issue.
    • Locality games include local partnerships and are intimately tied to the local community. They often employ citizen science, activism, geolocation, and either area-specific mechanics. 

From the Environmental Game Design Playbook
– by IGDA Climate SIG