The founders of the Education Arcade at MIT stated that there are many intrinsic motivations for learning associated with games. The threat of failure is lowered. Games allow players to try, make mistakes or fail, and then try again without losing face. Discovery and application of learned skills in new contexts encourages exploration and experimentation. A sense of engagement continues during gaming. Computer games allow players to be stakeholders in the events that occur on the screen. Increasingly, there are a number of games being developed that help people learn about the issues involved in sustainable development. Besides which …. they are fun!
Using online games to teach sustainability. This 3-part post by Giselle Weybrecht acknowledges that games can be used to not only help educate individuals about sustainability issues, but also help solve the challenges it poses. This three part series looks at a range of games, most available for free online. More games are provided through part 2 and part 3.
Online games address sustainability, civic engagement and community building. This post by Katie Donelly notes that games can be a great way to educate, inform and inspire groups of people to coalesce around particular issues. The post goes on to provide examples of games that address topics of environmental sustainability, civic engagement and community building.
The fish game. This game developed by the Cloud Institute gives you 10 days to catch as many fish as you can. The money you make from these fish will need to support your family for the next month. Each fish nets $2.
MySustHouse games There are three games here. The first lets you explore ways to create a more sustainable environment. The second challenges you to build a sustainable house. The third asks you to develop a sustainable town. This site also has an introduction to sustainability.
Stop disasters A disaster simulation game from the UN/ISDR. The core audience for this game is 9-16 year olds, but anyone can play and enjoy the game, and everyone will learn more about preventing disasters. Each scenario takes between 10 and 20 minutes to play, depending on the disaster you are trying to prevent and your skill level. There are five scenarios to play, and each can be played on easy, medium or hard difficulty levels.
Electrocity ElectroCity was developed to increase public awareness – particularly among students – of the basic “common knowledge” needed to discuss energy topics such as: How is energy generated? How much does it cost? How does it affect the environment? That is, the general terms and concepts of the energy industry and the dilemmas that go along with them. ElectroCity is made available online by Genesis Energy, a major generator and retailer of energy in New Zealand.
Serious games: online games for learning. In this epaper Anne Derryberry looks at serious games, expected to be a US$1.5 billion global market in 2008. These games are being described by some analysts as the next wave of technology-mediated learning. As organizations intensify their efforts to engage with members of today’s workforce, serious games offer a powerful, effective approach to learning and skills development. This paper looks at serious games and their potential as learning tools.