Symposium Ecogames: Game research meets sustainability


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 and participatory 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, organised by the Utrecht Research Focus Area Game Research, brings together experts in the fields of game design and research, communication, media and urban studies, ethics, geosciences, data 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 studios and creative storytelling agencies (Grendel Games, Spektor, Organiq and Play the City) will present their media productions and will discuss how these productions can be understood as rhetorical devices.

More information about the speakers and their projects can be found here. Also see our flyers (Ecogames and Game Research) and our Ecogames programme booklet.


08:45 - 09:15

Welcome and coffee

09:15 - 09:40

Welcome and introduction

09.40 - 11:00

Game Research meets Sustainability 1

  • Monique Simons: Games for healthy urban living 
  • 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
  • Ioannis Lampropoulos: 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

  • Tim Murck (Spektor): The power of storytelling
  • Fons Verhoef (Organiq): Motivating more sustainable behaviour through gamification
12:30 - 13:15


  • Anjelle Rademakers: Everything you always wanted to know about the Sustainable Futures Hub, but were afraid to ask

13:15 - 14:00

Ecogames 3

14:00 - 15:15

Game Research meets Sustainability 2

15:15 - 15.30

Coffee break

15:30 - 16:15

Ecogames 4

  • Tim Laning (Grendel Games): Designing games for peak shaving water usage with smart meters
16:15 - 17:15

Game Research meets Sustainability 3

17:15 - 18:00

Drinks & bites

Start date and time
End date and time
Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal
Entrance fee

Registration by email: Please indicate if you will participate in the morning, afternoon or whole day. Limited seats available.

More information
Please contact Joost Raessens