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Researchers Suggest Incorporating Sustainability into Video Games

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 05:23PM

A truth of all topics, great and small, is the difficulty to spread awareness and information on the subject. Indeed there are many topics that are many decades old that are still woefully misunderstood by many, so finding ways to familiarize people with them is crucial. Researchers at Oregon State University have recently suggested that the topic of sustainability could be brought into video games to increase awareness amongst gamers, by presenting us with related puzzles to solve.

By bringing sustainability concepts to video games, the researchers hope to have an approach that is neither pedantic nor educational, but still satisfying and informative through fun and challenge. Specifically four areas the researchers would like to see in more games are: a shift away from growth as a goal, as it would eventually be unsustainable; scavenging instead of combat to collect resources; more complex social interactions to foster social collaborations; and more complex resource strategies with long-term consequences, and interdependencies between resources.

Already there are some games with some of these elements, such as EVE Online, with its economy, and DayZ with its scavenging and player interactions. The researchers would like to see more games and mechanics that encourage thought on sustainability.

Source: Oregon State University

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