Story image

Are video games the future of sustainable tourism?

Murdoch University research on digital game-based learning has won the award for Best Paper at the 2018 ASEAN Tourism Research Association Conference. 

Play-based learning is increasingly forming a large part of educating today’s learners who have grown up in the digital age. Games like World of Warcraft, SimCity, Minecraft and Portal 2 have been recognised for their ability to engage and entertain while granting the user knowledge and problem-solving skills. 

Based on this idea, Eunice Tan and Yohei Okamoto from Murdoch University’s School of Arts examined how simulation games could be used in teaching tourism sustainability. 

Okamoto says, “Tourism can bring many benefits to a country including job creation, infrastructure development, economic prosperity and a global awareness of social and cultural issues.

“But there’s also the dark side of tourism which can mean locals are negatively impacted by increased pollution and waste, damage to nature and resources, elevated crime and higher costs of living.” 

“One such example is the temporary closure of the Thai beach made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach due to damage to coral reefs and ocean life caused by the influx of tourists.” 

Tan and Okamoto created and implemented a digital simulation game for a Tourism unit which will survey student perceptions as part of the ongoing research project.

Okamoto continues, “The game immerses the user in a story-rich virtual world which allows for safe experimentation without the fear of real-life consequences.

“Through role-playing, creating an identity and doing ‘quests’, the game stimulates thought and self-reflection about the impact of their choices.” 

“It even goes deep enough to make them question their own moral and ethical standpoints in order to make informed decisions towards creating a more sustainable world.”

Games are a powerful learning tool because they are highly engaging and relatable. 

Okamoto concludes, “There is a wealth of research on the effectiveness of digital game-based learning but a dearth of information in the context of sustainability education – and this is what our research seeks to investigate.”

Doctor Who fans: This one’s for you
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is a new, VR gaming experience set to be released this September.
Are AI assistants teaching girls to be servants?
Have you ever interacted with a virtual assistant that has a female-based voice or look, and wondered whether there are implicitly harmful gender biases built into its code?
Hands-on review: Is the Apple Watch 4 worth the price?
Apple’s flagship wearable device, the Apple Watch, is generally touted as the gold standard for what wearables should be able to achieve today.
Who's watching you? 
With privacy an increasing concern amongst the public, users should be more aware than ever of what personal data companies hold.
Game review: Rage 2 (PC)
The similarities between Mad Max and Rage 2 are very apparent. The overall setting and design aesthetic are clearly inspired, if not from the Mad Max game, from the Mad Max movies.
Apple brings 8-core processors to MacBook Pro
The addition of 8th- and 9th-generation Intel Core processors will deliver 40% more performance than a 6-core Pro.
Hands-on review: Playing the long game with the The iPhone XR
The red XR is a rare case of having a phone that’s ‘too pretty to be covered’ - and it’s not hard to see why.
Hands-on review: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software
I came across a wee gem of advice when researching the world of data recovery. As soon as you get that sinking feeling and realise you’ve lost a file, stop using your computer.