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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Engaging People with Nature through Game Design based on Local Stories

Published: 16 June 2023

This project aims to produce escape-room type educational games for young people (15-30 years old) to be disseminated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The natural world is becoming ever more fragile and ever more affected by humans. It is essential we engage people with nature both cognitively and emotionally to try and bring about behavioural changes. Young people in particular are least connected to nature. An effective way to engage this population with science content is the use of games. Escape room games in particular are an effective engagement tool: they have a low entry threshold, they are a well-known genre in popular culture, they encourage group work and they require both hands-on and minds-on work. The project produced escape room games for 15-30 year-olds in three different sites with the aim of raising participants connection with nature.

Games were co-designed in a series of workshops by education experts from the University of Southampton, educational staff at the RSPB sites, young people who represent the target audience and natural scientists from the University of Southampton.

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