Designing a Board Game about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
1.1. Global Trends: The Integration and Promotion of Education for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals
1.2. The Function of Board Games in Education and Learning
1.3. The Application of Serious Games to Education for Sustainable Development
1.4. Research Purposes
- To design a set of board games centered on the UN’s SDGs that can become an important starting point for research, development, and promotion of educational tools for sustainable development by domestic parties.
- To test the fluency, fun, and interactivity of the board game mechanism.
- To test the educational value of board games; that is, to make people understand the relationship between different SDGs.
2. Board Game Design and Content
2.1. Design Steps
2.2. Content of the Sustainable Development Goals Board Game
2.2.1. Game Background
2.2.2. Game Rules
2.2.3. Game Boards and Cards
3. Tests of the Sustainable Development Goals Board Game
3.1. Test Participants and Sessions
3.2. Interviewees’ Backgrounds and the Questions
3.2.1. Interview Questions
3.2.2. Interviewees’ Backgrounds
3.2.3. Observations and Interviews
4.1. The Board Game Provides Learners with a Basic Understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals
4.2. The Game’s Integration into Teaching Can Strengthen Learners’ Reflection on Sustainable Development Issues
4.3. Simplify the Game Mechanism and Support it with Relevant Educational Courses to Help Teachers Integrate the Content into Teaching
4.4. Commercializing the Board Game to Promote the Understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Elementary School Teachers||High School Students||Fifth Graders||Environmental Education Volunteers|
|Sessions (6 sessions in total)||2 sessions||2 sessions||1 session||1 session|
|Number of people (240 in total)||80 people||80 people||40 people||40 people|
|Board Game Designers, Board Game Players||High School Students||Fifth Graders|
|Sessions (6 sessions in total)||3 sessions||2 sessions||1 session|
|Number of people (60 in total)||12 people||8 people||40 people|
|Experts and Scholars||Code||Background|
|2 elementary school teachers||A1||The academic director of an elementary school had understood the SDGs but did not know how to integrate the concept into teaching.|
|Board game designer||A3||Had heard of the SDGs but did not know the content.|
|2 board game players||A4||Had played board games for 8–10 years.|
|A5||Had played board games for 3–5 years.|
|2 elementary school students||B1, B2||Had never heard of the SDGs.|
|10 high school students||B3–B12||Had learnt about the SDGs in school but not yet familiar with the content.|
|5 environmental education volunteers||B13–B17||Had heard of sustainable development but unaware about the SDGs.|
|A1||Board game designer|
|A2||Board game player|
|A3||Board game player||The game itself is quite interesting, but the partner index is not useful. I gained a preliminary understanding of the SDGs. Enhancing the interactivity and fun of the game will make it better.|
|A4||Elementary school teacher||The game is extremely interesting, but the process is complicated, making it difficult for teachers to lead elementary school students to play it.|
|A5||Elementary school teacher|
|B1||Elementary school students||The game is fun and interesting, but what are the SDGs?|
|B2||Environmental protection is not only about resource recycling; there are numerous things that can be done.|
|B3||High school students||In the beginning, I was not familiar with the game and grappled with the process. Once familiar, it reminded me of the real world. This game mimics the real world; I could actually encounter the game situations in real life.|
|B4||Many settings in the game, such as the unbalanced distribution of world resources, the rapid consumption of natural resources, the international news after each round (the unpredictability of the future), and international agreements resemble the real world.|
This game allowed me to reflect on issues such as the balance between environmental and economic development, the importance of international cooperation etc. The world is interconnected, even if it seems otherwise; each country is an important piece of the global puzzle, and steps taken now may lead to a different future.
|B5||This game allowed me to learn and reflect. Discussions with group members acquainted me with novel ideas; we also discussed topics related to COVID-19.|
|B6||It is an interesting activity: combining board games with the SDGs, helping me learn more about their content. The linkages with real life are amusing.|
|B7||Even in a game, it is difficult to balance the economy and the environment; it is doubly difficult in the real world.|
This game reveals our mentality to abandon nature to pursue economic development. This human pragmatism is also the perspective most in need of change. As the global economy continues to expand, integrating the concepts of sustainable development in our social and academic curriculums is the most responsible action for the world and our homeland.
|B8||We saw how COVID-19 stymied all 17 SDGs. In this ever-changing era, one person may be powerless, but disseminating the SDGs to secure general consensus will ensure that national leaders and commoners support them. With a combined effort, I believe the world can achieve these goals.|
|B9||After this class, I understand the concept of sustainable development and feel that its implementation requires the joint effort of every citizen of every country. After all, the occurrence of an event affects the whole world because of the butterfly effect.|
I learnt that sustainable development encompasses a wide range of issues; it is not only limited to the economic aspect. Education, environment, and human rights are also parts of sustainable development. Although the world is becoming more prosperous, but if we only pay attention to the development of today’s society, our children and grandchildren may not be able to fulfill their needs in the future.
|B11||Environmental education volunteers||The content of the board game provokes deep thinking. Our actions will affect the society, the country, and international interactions. After the class, I am now willing to change my personal habits.|
|B12||The board game explains that economies, societies, environment, governance, and international partnerships are closely related, and global cooperation in the context of the SDGs will affect everyone in this world.|
|B13||This is different from the other theoretical courses on environmental education. These new and creative ideas can help link global effort for sustainable development.|
|B15||This novel and interesting game helps better understand the SDGs.|
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Chen, F.-H.; Ho, S.-J. Designing a Board Game about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 2022, 14, 11197. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811197
Chen F-H, Ho S-J. Designing a Board Game about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability. 2022; 14(18):11197. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811197Chicago/Turabian Style
Chen, Fong-Han, and Shin-Jia Ho. 2022. "Designing a Board Game about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals" Sustainability 14, no. 18: 11197. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811197