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Biodiversity communication through art in the form of digital games and the communication potential of related online communities : diploma thesis
Tijana Mijušković, 2023, undergraduate thesis

Abstract: Biodiversity communication is becoming increasingly important in today’s age, as climate change and other factors contribute to the rapid decline of species and ecosystems across the globe. Art is growing in popularity as a tool of reaching people regarding environmental causes, as they convey the emotional, human side of this endeavor in a way that typical science communication isn’t able to. Digital games, arguably among the most persuasive art forms and now widely accessible, are well suited to educating as well as emotionally influencing their players. Online communities frequently form around games, providing a platform for discussion and potentially increasing the games’ total potential for biodiversity communication. In this thesis, the content of eight games from Steam’s list of top-rated games tagged with ‘Nature’ was analyzed, and seven online communities related to these games on the Discord and Reddit social media platforms were surveyed. There was found to be a number of different approaches among the eight games towards educating players about biodiversity and/or its conservation, and the survey of communities showed care towards and interest in biodiversity-related discussion and conservation gaming itself, as well as the fact that games and related discussion in online communities has potential to educate players and positively influence their interest in biodiversity topics. Online game-related communities may offer an additional avenue of approaching game players about biodiversity for science communicators, researchers, and game developers alike.
Keywords: biodiversity communication, biodiversity education, digital games, online communities, online discussion, social media platforms, video games
Published in RUNG: 11.12.2023; Views: 859; Downloads: 10
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