Symposium Ecogames: Game Research meets Sustainability, 30 January 2017, Utrecht, The Netherlands

I would like to cordially invite you to the symposium Ecogames: Game Research meets Sustainability on Monday 30 January 2017.

Ecogames – or games with a focus on ecosystems and sustainability – are imaginative spaces for playing and learning, expressing often contested moral and political values. They are used to raise awareness for a variety of sustainability issues, such as renewable energy transition, circular economy, sustainable mobility, and green water use and energy consumption. These persuasive games represent an experiential turn in climate communication and storytelling, trying to reinforce ecological attitudes and behaviour and stimulate collaborative environmental decision making.

This symposium brings together experts in the field of game design and research, communication, media and urban studies, ethics, geosciences and computer science. It explores the psychological, social, cultural and institutional conditions of a transition to a sustainable society, and the role ecogames could play in such a transition. Four Dutch game production studios (Grendel Games, Flavour, Organiq and Play the City) will present their ecological games and will discuss how these games can be understood as rhetorical devices.

I hope to see you all. Below, you will find the programme of the symposium and details about location and registration.

Best regards,
On behalf of the Utrecht Center for Game Research,
Joost Raessens

08:45-09:15: Welcome and Coffee
09:15-09:40: Welcome and Introduction

  • Joost Raessens (UU): Collapsus, or how to make players become ecological citizens

09.40-11:00: Game Research meets Sustainability 1

  • Monique Simons (UU): Healthy urban living – Using interactive technology for promoting a healthy lifestyle
  • Reint Jan Renes (HU): Games don’t design themselves: How to design for effective behaviour change?
  • Sabine Niederer (HvA): Networked content analysis: The case of climate change
  • Ionnis Lampropoulos (UU): Employment of gamification techniques for enhancing consumer’s empowerment and  engagement in demand response mechanisms

11:00-11:15: Coffee Break
11:15-12:30: Ecogames 1 + 2

  • Jaïn van Nigtevegt – Flavour (Amsterdam): Greenem – Communicating sustainability in play
  • Fons Verhoef – Organiq (Rotterdam): From 5 to 4 – Motivating more sustainable behaviour through gamification

12:30-13:15: Lunch & Playing Games & Sustainable Futures Hub (UU)
13:15-14:00: Ecogames 3

  • Ekim Tan (Play the City) & Michiel de Lange (UU): Games for Cities – Games informing the environment. Can play become a platform to close the communication gap between experts and support informed decision-making?

14:00-15:00 Game Research meets Sustainability 2

  • Maarten Hajer (UU): Urban futures: The dynamics of imagination
  • Joost Vervoort (UU): Game co-design for sustainable city governance
  • Jan Dirk Fijnheer (UU): Powersaver Game – Gamification in a household energy game

15:00-15.15: Coffee break
15:15-16:00: Ecogames 4

  • Tim Laning – Grendel Games (Leeuwarden): Neighborhood & Water Battle – How to influence water use behaviour through gaming

16:00-17:00: Game Research meets Sustainability 3

  • Hans Hoeken (UU): The importance of characters for narrative impact
  • Marcus Düwell (UU): Imagination and the ethics of climate change

17:00-18:00: Drinks & bites

Details & registration
When: Monday 30 January 2017, 09:15-17:00
Location: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht
Entry price: free
Contact: Joost Raessens (
Organisation: Focus Area Game Research
Registration: by email, Please indicate if you will participate in the morning, afternoon or whole day. Limited seats available.unnamed (1)

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