University of Oulu

Daniel Fernández Galeote et al 2021 Environ. Res. Lett. 16 063004,

Gamification for climate change engagement: review of corpus and future agenda

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Author: Galeote, Daniel Fernández1; Rajanen, Mikko2; Rajanen, Dorina2;
Organizations: 1Gamification Group, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
2INTERACT Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
4TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, The Hague, The Netherlands
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: IOP Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-08


Both bottom-up and top-down initiatives are essential for addressing climate change effectively. These include initiatives aiming to achieve widespread behavioral change towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as pursuing education regarding adaptation measures. While awareness of the issue of climate change is now pervasive, and actions are being taken at all levels of society, there is still much to do if international goals are to be met. Games and gamification offer one approach to foster both behavioral change and education. In this paper, we investigate the state-of-the-art of game-based climate change engagement through a systematic literature review of 64 research outputs comprising 56 different gamified approaches. Our analysis of the literature reveals a trend of promising findings in this nascent and growing area of research, suggesting the potential to impact multiple engagement dimensions simultaneously, as well as create an engaging gameful experience. Overall, the corpus appears to offer a fruitful balance in foci between climate science, mitigation, and adaptation, as well as a variety of formats in game-based approaches (i.e. digital, analog, and hybrid). However, shortcomings were also observed, such as geographic and demographic imbalances and the short duration of interventions. The reviewed studies yield a large number of results indicating climate change engagement through gamification, especially in the form of cognitive engagement, affect towards climate change-related topics, and in-game behavioral engagement with others. Nevertheless, heterogeneity in terms of contexts, designs, outcomes, and methods, as well as limited rigor in research designs and reporting, hinders drawing overall conclusions. Based on our review, we provide guidelines regarding contexts, interventions, results, and research quality and internal validity for advancing the space of game-based interventions for climate change engagement.

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Series: Environmental research letters
ISSN: 1748-9326
ISSN-E: 1748-9326
ISSN-L: 1748-9326
Volume: 16
Issue: 6
Article number: 063004
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abec05
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (Grant Number 00200246), the Nessling Foundation (Project Number 202100217), the Academy of Finland Flagship Programme (337653—Forest-Human-Machine Interplay (UNITE)), and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship (ID 840809).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 337653
Detailed Information: 337653 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.