The Educational Role of Video Game Behavior on Individuals about Sustainable Strategies for Energy Conservation
This study proposed the use of video games as an intervention for providing an educational experience that targeted energy conservation behavior. The concept was rooted in the influence of virtual simulations on human cognition, in which the brain has not yet evolved to differentiate mediated experiences from real ones. The particular simulation (7 Days to Die) in question was set in a world with a fully destructible environment. Players allocated cognitive resources to avoid hunger, dehydration, and rise/drop in internal core temperature, which are vital health measures. Threats to survival presented themselves in the form of food scarcity, hypothermia, and even gravity. I hypothesized that this simulation would provide an engaging experience that, upon reflection, will shift attitudes, feelings, and intentions towards current real-world threats to environmental sustainability, specifically energy conservation. The common person should know where the energy that supports their livelihood is generated, and also be mindful of what resources are irreversibly consumed in the process. However, this importance does not guarantee that the common person will participate in energy consumption behaviors in the best possible way, especially when inconvenient. That is, the immediate benefits are more important than the costs in the uncertain future. This uncertainty is the root of plausible deniability of decision-making that results in environmentally unfavorable energy consumption behaviors. In this study, participants were provided examples of certainty via this simulation, where the support structures responsible for providing convenient means of survival are no longer available. This was meant to bring perspective into peoples’ lives by eliciting a real-time emotional response to the disturbing and frightening causal conclusions of environmentally damaging behavior, such as failure to comply with energy conservation behaviors at the individual level.
Education; Energy Conservation; environment; video games; 7 days to die; sustainability
Shepley, Mardelle M.
Elliott, John Jack R.; Andersen, Erik
Design and Environmental Analysis
M.S., Design and Environmental Analysis
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis