Nowadays, half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This movement towards the cities raises some concerns about the implications of the younger population’s reduced contact with outdoor environments. This fact, added to the number of hours young people spent in sedentary activities involving electronic media, may contribute to their disconnection from nature and indifference towards environmental conservation and biodiversity preservation. As it is in the early years of the individual’s life that the motivation to be ecologically concerned arises and is expected to have a lifelong effect, the way young people understand and experience nature is related may have a deep impact in the development of a pro-environmental behaviour. Reconnecting with nature can play an important role in the adoption of sustainable environmental behaviours, and it is a process that can be established, amongst other dimensions, through the physical interaction with natural environments, and through the exposition and interaction with environmental-related knowledge or information. In what concerns environmental and biodiversity preservation education, new approaches include the use of digital games, which are increasingly being adopted to raise environmental awareness among youths. Digital games are part of young people’s daily lives, and its potential to enhance motivation for learning and the positive impact of games in fostering biodiversity awareness has been recognized a few years to this part.
Young people are also being challenged not just to play games but also to engage in the development of their own games. Being involved in the creation of games encourages to explore boundaries, increases collaboration and the exchange of ideas, raises awareness towards the addressed topic, leads to more responsibility and better attitude in group work and increases student’s sense of achievement, self-confidence and self-efficacy. Combined with the physical interaction with natural environments, and due to their interactive and immersive narrative, digital games emerge as an innovative approach in the promotion of knowledge about environmental preservation and biodiversity conservation.
In this scope, the specific objectives of the “Gamers4Naure – Reconnecting with Nature Through the Creation of Digital Games” project are:
– to raise young student’s awareness on the importance of environmental and biodiversity preservation, through the creation of digital games;
– to provide opportunities of co-learning and knowledge share based on experiential learning in outdoor settings, through the organization of “reconnecting with nature” events;
– to provide opportunities for the development of computational thinking and communication skills;
– to disseminate and encourage participation of young students in EU coding events (such as the EU Code Week);
– to organize a global game design competition, where teams from different countries will be challenged to develop a game addressing a local and/or a global environmental threat;
– and to inspire participants to adopt more sustainable practices, to understand local problems and global threats to biodiversity preservations and to take action towards a more sustainable and more conscious environmental behaviour.
With this project we want to bring together different stakeholders (upper-secondary schools’ teachers, students and environmental NGOs) to identify local environmental threats, to develop educational resources and digital games able to transmit to information about the importance to preserve local biodiversity and to adopt a pro-environmental behaviour. The main focus will be the development of innovative approaches to environmental education, through the implementation of actions that combine physical and digital nature-connection activities.
01/09/2020 – 31/08/2022
Games & Transmedia
Ana Veloso; Rita Santos; Mónica Aresta
2020-1-PT01-KA201-078789 This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission. This website and all its contents reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.