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Educators Summit: Teaching Sustainability and Game Design: From the Low-Hanging Fruits to the Root of the Problem

Patrick Prax  (Associate Professor, Uppsala University)

Clayton Whittle  (Manager of Online Learning, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative)

Trevin York  (Founder, Dire Lark)

Sonia Fizek  (Associate Professor of Media & Game Studies, Cologne Game Lab at TH Köln)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 21

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Educators

Format: Panel

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Environmental sustainability is increasingly important to game design students in higher education programs. The developers of tomorrow do not want to join a polluting industry that creates landscapes of e-waste and contributes to massive carbon emissions. They want to create games that raise awareness, as well as find possible solutions to climate change.

The question remains: How do educators respond to this eco-critical shift and teach about sustainable video games?

This panel presents The Environmental Game Design Playbook, recently published by the IGDA Climate Change SIG, and shares lessons learned from teaching with it. The panel has a very deliberate setup of diverse speakers from academia and industry. Both the use of games to inspire behavior change and the long-term goal to reform the material conditions of game production are needed to address sustainability and help students actively engage with it.


Attendees will receive: a framework for environmental sustainability beyond greenwashing, practical, achievable starting points for game design towards climate action, positive psychology to create motivating energy instead of paralyzing fear, and interdisciplinary perspectives from education, research, and industry

They will also receive a copy of the Environmental Playbook from the IGDA, and gain experiences and lessons learned from teaching with the Playbook.

Intended Audience

This is for educators in game design education who want to teach about sustainability in a way that connects to real and systemic change. It is also relevant for industry professionals who want to bring these perspectives to their studios.