Playmob is a market insights platform leveraging games to better understand what people think, feel and value over time.  They work with purpose driven organisations to better equip them with data and insights to make people and planet centric decisions.  They wanted to develop a new and improved scientifically validated measure of climate attitudes to take insights to a new level and be used to inform future climate policy, embedded in globally-popular gaming experiences.

The academic team at QMU was chosen because of the Dr Kristen Knowles  prior research both in gaming psychology and in policy sentiment, including research about how individuals respond to digital environments and in political psychology and policy attitudes. This was expertise Playmob Labs didn’t have in-house and had been searching for but had not yet found.

This project aimed to develop a game for use on mobile devices, with players actions in the game providing an indirect measure of the players’ beliefs and attitudes about the environment. An indirect measure will be valuable because traditional survey measures can be subject to social and cognitive biases, for example by capturing socially desirable responses rather than being reflective of internally held beliefs.

In a prior Innovation Voucher project, Dr Knowles developed a scientifically valid brief measure of environmental attitudes (a word-sorting task) that could be deployed in less than 90 seconds of interaction. This project brought the measure into a gameplay design. The game was launched and tested, confirming the gameplay design had not altered the efficacy of the originally validated lab-designed measure.

The game was designed and launched in an online playable environment. We extracted players’ data and compared this to subsequent survey results which focused on environmental attitudes and behaviours using quantitative and statistical analytical methods.

The project resulted in a playable game that is a scientifically valid and reliable measure of players’ attitudes about the environment.

Results of the quantitative research showed that the gamified version of the original scientific measure retained its validity as an indirect accurate measure of internally held beliefs about the environment.

The game can be launched as a pop-up within existing games (e.g. in the pace of popups or advertisements in free or freemium games) and rolled out to population-scale audiences. This can help partner organisations both to (a) assess movement of environmental attitudes of a population over time, and (b) compare environmental attitudes between populations, for example between nations. Because the game is in a mobile-playable format, this can be used to reach populations that are often overlooked by traditional or more formalised survey methods. Ultimately the game and its resulting data can be utilised by governments, NGOs and policy bodies to assess environmental attitudes both locally and globally, to measure impact of policies and interventions, and to do so in an accessible and unintrusive methodology.

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