Serious games on environmental management
Abstract Serious environmental management games can improve understanding of practical environmental sustainability challenges by offering opportunities to obtain first-hand experiences that may be otherwise too costly, difficult or dangerous to reproduce in reality. Game-based learning (GBL) has been found to increase soft skills, such as critical thinking, creative problem solving and teamwork, as well as to improve cognitive development, learning retention and social learning, which are important for future environmental researchers and professionals. Environmental management games can be applied in educational settings to promote awareness about sustainable resource planning and management among citizens who are increasingly exposed to products of the information age. This paper provides an overview of game-based learning and the state of serious games (SG) for environmental management, offering insight into their potential as effective tools in facilitating environmental education. SGs have been shown to possess numerous qualities that have been connected with improved learning experiences and cognitive development, but research must continue to study the SGs’ efficacy. Shortcomings found with games reviewed are that few evaluate or explain pedagogical foundation, and many are hard to implement or not accessible. Methods employed in determining the effectiveness of SGs vary greatly among environmental studies, necessitating a standardized methodology to reduce disparities in testing procedures. Furthermore, a centralized source, effectively an online database for SGs, is needed for locating and obtaining information pertaining to the available environmental games and their most appropriate applications. Highlights Serious games (SGs) for environmental management are reviewed. Potential of SGs in facilitating environmental education is discussed. The need for a standardized methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of SGs is highlighted.
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