How location-based gaming affects players' nature and forest experiences

Samuli Laato, Daniel Fernández Galeote, Ferran Altarriba Bertran, Konstantinos Papangelis, Juho Hamari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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In our digitized modernity, there are an increasing number of discourses related to the benefits of returning to nature for well-being, health, lived daily experiences and promoting ecological sustainability. Concurrently, location-based games (LBGs), such as Pokémon GO, have become a prominent game-technological trend, which influences players' movement out and about in nature. Therefore, LBGs could potentially provide a fruitful development to re-establish some of the human-nature relationships lost in urbanization and industrialization. The aim of this study, therefore, is to explore how contemporary LBGs affect peoples' relationship with nature. We conducted a qualitative study through semi-structured interviews among LBG players. We focused on two complementary seeding points of departure, (1) what aspects of the games affect how players interact with nature and/or are enticed to move in nature, and (2) how LBGs affect the experience in and of nature. The findings detail the multifaceted and bi-directional relationship of how LBGs affect players' perceptions of nature, but simultaneously, nature changes and shapes players' movement and experiences, potentially resulting in increased well-being and more sustainable gaming praxis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 56th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2023
EditorsTung X. Bui
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133164
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventHawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Maui, Hawaii, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20236 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Electronic)2572-6862


ConferenceHawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui, Hawaii


  • augmented reality
  • forest
  • location-based games
  • Nature
  • pervasive games

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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