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.”

How to stay safe when shopping online
Online shopping is a great way to avoid the crowds – but there are risks.
Hands-on review: The Logitech R500 laser presentation remote
With a clever ergonomic design, you’ll never have to glance at the device, unless you deliberately look to use the built-in laser pointer to emphasise your presentation.
Noel Leeming slapped with $200,000 fine for misrepresentation
“This prosecution related to multiple consumers in multiple locations. It was not isolated or ‘one off’ conduct.”
GCSB welcomes Inspector-General's report on intelligence warrants
Intelligence warrants can include surveillance, private communications interception, searches of physical places and things, and the seizure of communications, information and things.
Review: Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 3?
If you are new the to the world of wearables you might be wondering if Fitbit’s new offering is a good first step. Maybe I can help with that.
Hands-on review: Anki Vector is a step up in the world of AI
See how he responds if you annoy him. You can tell him if he’s been a good or bad robot and see how he reacts.
Homegrown stress relief app to be launched next year
Researchers at the University of Auckland and an Auckland-based creative agency are working together to create a ‘world first’ app that they believe will help with stress relief.
UPDATED Review: Blue Mic’s Satellite headphones are good but...
Blue has responded to what I described as an “insidious issue” of quality control - Satellite headphones deliver on sound, aesthetic, and comfort.