Hello, Earthlings! Believe it or not, July is coming to a close. This month, we focused on several different topics around gaming and the environment. Any of us looking to build a better future must first understand our planet, including what nurtures it and what challenges it currently faces. Educational video games are an excellent tool for environmental learning because they bring big, abstract concepts down to earth. To find out all the ways that games, conservation, natural science, agriculture, and sustainability interact, check out the resources below!
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Looking for a roundup of games that will kickstart ecological learning for your students or yourself? This is the list for you. The included titles span a wide variety of topics. Learn more about plastic’s effect on the environment in a puzzle platformer created by students at USC. Discover what it takes to survive as a wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Understand more about water conservation with our friends at the Smithsonian Institute. Learn about indigenous land practices to restore rivers. You have the opportunity to experience all of the above and much more through this list of conservation and natural science video games!
Take a peek into Filament history with some of our older work with The JASON Project, discover how Civilization VI is approaching environmental issues, and more in this interview with Filament CEO Dan White! In this blog, Dan explains why video games are a unique and useful medium to teach players about environmental issues. He notes that this is because games can represent abstract and longitudinal concepts related to our planet, while documentaries and other forms of digital media can’t. Dan also speaks to motivation and action. Video games are most often played over the course of weeks or months, whereas other forms of media only take a few hours to get through. Because of this, Dan asserts that video games present a way to motivate ourselves towards action and sustain that motivation over time. I won’t explain too much more, because there are so many other topics covered in the interview that you’ll have to read to uncover!
Here at Filament, we love Stardew Valley – but it’s not the best game to learn the ins and outs of real-life farming and agricultural studies. However, there are educational games out there dedicated to those very topics! In this post, we explore agriculture-themed scholastic esports (bet you didn’t know that was a thing!), animal husbandry simulation games, and more. While farming may not often be associated with technology, video games are a great learning resource for the current and future generations of agriculture experts. Why? Because games allow students and professionals to experiment, fail, and see possible long-term effects in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re wondering how to safely handle cows, or where your food comes from, this article is packed full of agricultural game-based learning goodness!
Okay, this one may appear off-topic at first, but I promise you it does tie into the environment! Recently, our CEO Dan White was featured on Embedded.fm, an engineering podcast hosted by Elecia White and Christopher White. On the show, Dan spoke on a variety of topics – how he defines “fun” and “play” when it comes to gaming, Filament’s approach to game design, our upcoming digital robotics game, RoboCo, and he answered many other STEM-related questions from Elecia and Christopher. The hosts also asked him what sort of game he would create if he had unlimited resources to do so. Dan replied that he would want to create an in-depth entomology or soil science game. What details and mechanics would this kind of learning game need to be successful? Why does Dan believe that soil science education is important? Listen to the podcast and find out!
That concludes this resource roundup on all things educational games and the environment! Whether you’re looking to educate your students, your children, or yourself, the posts above detail game-based learning experiences for every age, on a variety of subjects. If you’re looking to create your own game for eco-education, we’re the educational game developer for you! Contact us today for a free consultation.
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