Between the Lines: Using Differential Game Analysis to Develop Environmental Thinking

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When discussing Games for Change, there is a tendency to focus on the didactic potential of playing one specific game with its well-researched representation of ecological issues and carefully encoded values. While such arguments are doubtlessly needed, they may underestimate the importance of the context in which play makes meaning. This chapter highlights two important contexts within which players understand their actions in a particular game: their experiences in similar games, and their personal play compared to that of and with others. It presents deep readings of four survivalist games played both solo and cooperatively and shows how much ecocritical reflection is produced not by engagement with the individual example, but the comparative perception of games and players.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcogames: Playful Perspectives on the Climate Crisis
EditorsLaura op de Beke, Joost Raessens, Stefan Werning, Gerald Farca
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9789463721196
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-485-5721-9
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Games for Change
  • Ecological Issues
  • Player Experience
  • Cooperative Play
  • Ecocritical Reflection


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