Benni’s Forest: A serious game on the challenges of reforestation
Bolijn, Hidde (Student TU Delft)
Li, Martin (Student TU Delft)
Reurink, Andries (Student TU Delft)
van Rijn, Cas (Student TU Delft)
Bidarra, Rafael (TU Delft Computer Graphics and Visualisation)
Many people think of reforestation projects as one-dimensional, simply consisting of planting trees. In reality, a reforestation project takes into account a wide variety of factors, of which the three most important are improving soil quality, reducing fire hazard, and ensuring the prosperity of the community. We posit that a simplistic view on such projects is detrimental for a more committed and serious societal awareness and support of sustainable reforestation. Therefore, it is desirable that more people have a better understanding of the interplay of these factors, as they will likely become more involved in reforestation projects. We present Benni’s Forest, a serious game aimed at increasing awareness of the challenges of reforestation projects. Benni’s Forest is a simulation game, in which the player is responsible for a reforestation project, balancing its various factors over the years, deciding on what to do when and where on the terrain, e.g. fertilizing, planting trees, or digging fire ditches. Meanwhile, adverse events, like wildfires or illegal logging, threaten your progress, creating a tension that gives the player a vivid experience of the complexity of the project. As you progress, several scores indicate the quality of your performance, most notably a biodiversity score, representing the amount and variety of trees in the forest. In this way, players receive clear hints to strategize and face each situation with the appropriate measures to grow a biodiverse forest. We evaluated Benni’s Forest conducting a survey amongst players. The results confirm both an increased understanding of the challenges involved in reforestation efforts, and an increased sense of engagement of players with such projects.
To reference this document use:
Games for change
Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE Conference on Games (CoG)
2022 IEEE Conference on Games (CoG), 2022-08-21 → 2022-08-24, Virtual at Beijing , China
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© 2022 Hidde Bolijn, Martin Li, Andries Reurink, Cas van Rijn, Rafael Bidarra