Facilitating sustainability transition through serious games: A systematic literature review
Abstract: Exploring aspects of how innovative methods can truly attain a sustainable society is necessary for the future of our planet. This study focuses on serious games, and how users can increase their understanding of sustainability issues and their familiarity with sustainable development strategies. “Users” of serious games consist of all possible target groups that are interested in attaining knowledge of sustainability through the use of games that are designed for a purpose beyond entertainment, in this case for sustainability education. This paper follows the systematic literature review method to deliver a study of serious games featuring sustainable development practices and policies. In order to provide a thorough analysis of their dynamic features, 77 games were explored in this study. The findings show the growing number of serious games that seek to educate in sustainability and the categorization of these games according to the triple-bottom line of sustainability, giving clarification hints to users wishing to select the relevant tool that offers an understanding of specific sustainability issues. The purpose of such research is to reveal the contribution of serious games as effective tools in facilitating sustainability education and to group them according to their nature and direction in relation to sustainability. Limitations in their effectiveness are also identified and a research agenda for new, relevant serious games is proposed that will enhance holistic knowledge and make it easier to clarify their pedagogical basis. The recipients of the findings will be all those future users and trainers who are interested in accessing sustainability education patterns through the use of serious games. This study will enable them to select the serious game that best serves their needs.