The History and Practical Applications of Video Games as a Medium for Dispersing Knowledge of and Generating Discussion Around Sustainability
Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as “gamification” in the educational and business sectors, as well as educational games. While gamification itself is very prolific, its application to sustainability issues has been somewhat limited. With the progression of technology and the high percentage of gamers within the population, the time is ripe for a paradigm shift. Humans have always played games to inform themselves and others, and though this takes many forms, they always will, be their efforts dedicated to education, entertainment, or profit. While teaching and entertainment may sometimes be at odds with one another, they do not have to be. Many audiences respond well to varied forms of entertainment, and when the ability of a thing designed to further educate or gamify is given room to be entertaining as well, all involved benefit. Sustainability as a whole is an incredibly nebulous and broad concept, such that current educational and entertaining games exploring the subject largely addresses it on a smaller scale, or looks at a piece of the picture instead of all of it, as smaller pieces are easier to break down and address. There are ways that games can be and are vehicles for both entertainment and education, and by combining the two end goals in relatively equal measure, a solid platform can be built off of which both learning and personal growth can occur.