Digital games and biodiversity conservation

Digital games and biodiversity conservation

In this paper Chris Sandbrook, Bill Adams and Bruno Monteferri discuss the potential of using digital games in the promotion of biodiversity conservation. The games industry is growing rapidly, with games, and gaming approaches, increasingly used for serious and social purposes, including in biodiversity conservation. Sandbrook et al. identify three ways in which games might contribute to conservation: 1) education and behaviour change (e.g. by raising awareness of conservation problems), 2) fundraising (e.g. through the development and sale of new commercial games), and 3) research monitoring and planning (e.g. by creating incentives for gamers to collect data). The authors conclude that there is great potential for conservation to take more advantage of digital games, but recommend that conservation games are: 1) developed through close working with specialist commercial companies (particularly when intended for the mass market), 2) focused in their aims, 3) target a specific audience with great care, and 4) fun to play.

This project was funded by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative Strategic Initiative Workshop Fund.

 

Collaboration / Project(s)

Gaming and biodiversity conservation: assessing the potential

Video games have become a vast industry (worth $29 billion worldwide in 2005, $42 billion in 2010), and gaming plays an important part of the lives of significant numbers of people across the world.  In recent years, new trends in the gaming industry have emerged. These include the development of a large industry of ‘serious…