Green Across the Board: Board Games as Tools for Dialogue and Simplified Environmental Communication
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSimulation & Gaming. 2020, 51 (5), 632-652. 10.1177/1046878120925133
Background. Board games are a promising, yet rarely used arena for learning about environmental issues. Existing research suggests that they are highly innovative communication tools that make complex sustainability problems more salient and easily understandable. To date, little to no research exists where several environment-themed board games have been compared in a single study. Method. 17 respondents were invited to board game nights where they were tasked to play an environmental board game of their choosing. The respondents were then invited to participate in subsequent focus group interviews about their gameplay experience and learning outcomes. Results. 5 focus group interviews were transcribed and subjected to a qualitative thematic analysis, revealing 2 main themes; the first revolving around board games as simplified environmental simulations and the second revolving around the players’ perceptions of their own impact on the game board. Conclusion. Our results suggest that board games can be highly effective tools in some aspects of environmental communication. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.