Text- and game-based communication for climate change attitude, self-efficacy, and behavior: A controlled experiment

Daniel Fernández Galeote, Nikoletta-Zampeta Legaki, Juho Hamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The advantages of both gamification and immersive technologies are often advocated for in contexts in which human motivation is lacking. This is the case with environmental sustainability and climate change engagement, where knowledge alone is not sufficient for pro-environmental behavior. However, the existing literature lacks rigorous studies comparing games and immersive media to more traditional communication methods. In this article, we describe an experiment (N=105) where participants used a climate change game in PC or immersive VR or were assigned to a text-based control. Our findings suggest that all three conditions increased climate change attitudes and environmental self-efficacy, but no significant differences were found between them. Although VR players tended to enjoy their experience significantly more than other participants, we did not find significant differences in self-reported immersion. Furthermore, neither enjoyment nor immersion correlated with attitude or self-efficacy shifts. Our exploration of participant behavior yielded similar results for all three conditions, both in commitment to action and self-reported completion ten days after the intervention. Our results suggest that games can improve attitudes and self-efficacy even in highly involved audiences, but their comparative advantage in certain contexts may be smaller than commonly assumed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107930
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Attitudes
  • Climate change
  • Engagement
  • Games
  • Self-efficacy
  • Virtual reality

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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