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Conceptualizing Serious Games as a Learning-Based Intervention in the Context of Natural Resources and Environmental Governance
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Towards a Framework for Designing and Assessing Game-Based Approaches for Sustainable Water Governance

1
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstrasse 133, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
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Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, 21 111 Lakeshore, Ste Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X3V9, Canada
3
Department of Social Sciences, Education and Learning Sciences, Wageningen University, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040869
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
Most of the literature on serious games and gamification calls for a shift from evaluating practices to using theories to assess them. While the former is necessary to justify using game-based approaches, the latter enables understanding “why” game-based approaches are beneficial (or not). Based on earlier review papers and the papers in this special issue of Water entitled “Understanding game-based approaches for improving sustainable water governance: the potential of serious games to solve water problems”, we show that game-based approaches in a water governance context are relatively diverse. In particular, the expected aims, targeted audience, and spatial and temporal scales are factors that differentiate game-based approaches. These factors also strongly influence the design of game-based approaches and the research developed to assess them. We developed a framework to guide and reflect on the design and assessment of game-based approaches, and we suggest opportunities for future research. In particular, we highlight the lack of game-based approaches that can support “society-driven” sustainable water governance. View Full-Text
Keywords: gamification; serious games; water governance; stakeholder participation; sustainability gamification; serious games; water governance; stakeholder participation; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aubert, A.H.; Medema, W.; Wals, A.E.J. Towards a Framework for Designing and Assessing Game-Based Approaches for Sustainable Water Governance. Water 2019, 11, 869.

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