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Can Gaming Teach Environmentally Responsible Values?

Game based learning has long been used in many settings, including for educational activities as well as occupational and career training.

Some developers and educators see gaming as a way to reach a wider audience, and as a smart learning option for teaching core values, like ecologically responsible behaviors.

With the vast assortment of games that revolve around questionable themes and subject matter, many who have gamers around may not argue, and would welcome a wider selection of more comprehensive games.

By nature, games are both engaging and entertaining, a combination that can in fact lead to a successful learning environment. There are even environmentally aimed versions of many popular mainstream games. Any occasion, some say, to reach socially developing children to try and implant constructive roles is one that should be taken.

Some benefits of gaming can include logical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem solving abilities. Also, cooperation and communication skills can be enhanced. Gaming can also lend to increased, lasting motivational levels among players (Bitterberg et al., 2008).

Game and curriculum developers are using the positives that gaming can offer along with research based design as a way to bring together playing and learning. Video games are one tool that can provide a chance to present significant themes, like environmental awareness. Inviting gamers in with the right blend of gaming provisions mixed with elements of educational themes like sustainability and social and environmental responsibility, may be key.

The skeptical side, though, reminds of the significance of actual outdoor experiences, and not reliance on an artificial medium to plant environmental seeds, especially one that keeps developing systems indoors. Though gaming alone cannot comprise all that is needed to ingrain ecological appreciation, when used in conjunction with other models it can be an additional and practical resource.

Conversely, providing opportunities for outdoor activities along with a sense of global community are real life involvements that stick, long after a once favorite game has been forgotten about.


Bitterberg, T., Hildmann, H., & Branki, C. (2008). Using Resource Management Games for Mobile Phones to Teach Social Behavior. Techniques and Applications for Mobile Commerce. Retrieved from: Google Books

Yeomans, M. (2013, April 22). Gaming for Good: Teaching Sustainability Through Video Games. Retrieved from: the guardian

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