Accelerating the Energy Transition Through Serious Gaming: Testing Effects on Awareness, Knowledge and Efficacy Beliefs
Keywords:serious games, education, youth, sustainability, energy transition, effects
AbstractTo have sustainable societies, we need to accelerate the energy transition towards clean energy solutions, however, awareness and understanding of the process as well as intentions to change behaviors are still limited, especially among young people. An optimal balance considering the point of view from all parties involved is out of sight without a focus on social structures and a dialogue among all parties. In this context, universities have a critical role to play: these institutions build capacity through the development of new knowledge, new understanding and new insights, and can therefore provide effective solutions to complex societal challenges. In search of innovative approaches to reach young people, whose communicative paradigm has become more interactive and participatory, the use of serious gaming in formal education is gaining attention among scholars and practitioners: they can foster skills and abilities, contribute to content development of complex issues by integrating insights from different disciplines, and permit learning experiences that are not possible in real life. In this paper, we introduce “We‑Energy Game”, a serious game that address the urgency and complexities in the provision of affordable energy from renewable sources for an entire town. During the game, players negotiate, from their respective roles, which energy source they want to employ and on which location, with the goal to make a village or city energy neutral. Then, we present findings from a pretest and posttest completed by a hundred university students in The Netherlands to analyze the effects of the game on players awareness, understanding and efficacy beliefs. Results reveal positive outcomes on all variables.
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