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A STUDY ON WEB BASED AND COMPUTER GAMES AROUND BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEMS

In this article, I review the existing video games with a relation to biodiversity and knowledge on species.

The study looks into the segment of web based and computer games around biodiversity and ecosystems, and intends to provide a general overview on the existing games. It also aims to show whether there is room for a creation of a new game on the topic, or if it is already fully covered by the existing games.

The study was done by searching such games on the internet and asking different sources if they knew any. The games were then listed and those found free online were played and assessed. Some information on the payable games was searched on the internet.

The main observations are that there already exist numerous games around biodiversity and ecosystems, but most of the games are quite simple and do not provide comprehensive information on the subject, so their educational value is limited. Also, many of the games fail to be entertaining in the long run. Many games are of similar nature, and some are very difficult to play. It seemed that those games that succeed in being most interesting are using humour, one way or another, in order to catch the interest of the player. CD-Rom games appear to provide much more information than free online games, but this can be explained with the fact that creating a comprehensive game is rather expensive. The majority of the games around biodiversity and ecosystems are made for children. Successful games provide new information and give an opportunity to transfer the information gained into practise. They also show the importance of all decisions on the matter, and the different aspects, that is, they reveal the complex nature of the subject. Using humour is one way to approach the problem, but the seriousness of it can not be undermined. Providing opportunity to multiplaying could also be an interesting idea.

All in all, there are a lot of games on biodiversity and ecosystems, but still there seems to be room for a game that would provide comprehensive knowledge and show the full complexity of the subject.