SubSeGa: Serious Gaming – Potentials for Knowledge Transfer and Change of Awareness for more Sustainability

Duration: 01/2021 - 12/2023
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors: German Environment Agency (UBA)
Project Partners: Quantumfrog GmbH, Booster Space Events & Consulting GmbH
Project Focus:

The potential of video and computer games for more sustainability is the focus of SubSeGa
© Fraunhofer ISE
The potential of video and computer games for more sustainability is the focus of SubSeGa.
Main activities within the project
© Fraunhofer ISE
Main activities within the project

Digital, interactive entertainment media have gained immense importance in recent decades. Today, computer games in particular are just as culture-shaping as mass media. According to the game industry association, more than half of Germans play computer and video games - regardless of gender and into age. Through their visual, narrative and simulative character, they offer rich worlds of experience and adventure. The immersive power of games has long been used, for example to train firefighters, to slip into other roles in the work environment or to reduce fears. For the Federal Environment Agency, we are exploring and testing the potential of computer games to promote sustainability in various social groups.

Given the goal of meeting planetary boundaries and the question of how to promote sustainability broadly and effectively, fresh ideas are needed on how to embed environmental issues in our attitudes and actions for the long term. Negative emotions of abandonment, change of habits, overwhelming demands or perceived individual ineffectiveness often associated with sustainability are obstacles to change and can encourage inertia. How can we face the future of our environment with positive emotions and voluntary willingness to act? What would it be like if we did not perceive the necessity of sustainability developments as a restriction, but as a challenge that is fun, offers us a lot of freedom to develop and could motivate us to act?

Sketching of concrete game ideas in a co-design workshop
© Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash
Sketching of concrete game ideas in a co-design workshop.
Example graphic style for interactive climate visualization
© Fraunhofer ISE
Example graphic style for interactive climate visualization.

To this end, the SubSeGa research team at Fraunhofer ISE is exploring the young field of serious games for the benefits of a change towards more sustainability. Serious games, often referred to together with gamification, are computer and video games that pursue at least one other characteristic goal in addition to their entertainment value. Serious games can be used not only for simulative training and rehabilitation purposes, but also in the field of sustainability to deal with complexity, promote systematic thinking, teach sustainability skills and foster sustainability awareness.

Making environmental information tangible - the art is to incorporate learning content and the desired change in consciousness into game design, genre, game mechanics and aesthetics in such a way that they are independently and voluntarily accepted, applied and transferred to the real world by the players. Based on the state of the art in research and starting from a co-design workshop a serious game application will be developed and tested , the game development scene will be explored, networked and activated and the project will be communicated to society. The award-winning and innovative game development company Quantumfrog and the renowned German Booster Space Events & Consulting GmbH support the project as strong partners.

The driving force behind the SubSeGa project is that tapping the potential of serious gaming for more sustainability opens up exciting future perspectives and a variety of creative approaches that can raise the commitment of actors from sustainability transformation and game development equally and jointly to a new level and meet with enormous interest in today's society

More Information on this Topic:

Energy System Model »DISTRICT«

System Development & Market Integration Heat & Power

Research Topic

Energy System Analysis

Business Area

Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems