The Metagame
Forums, fan groups, Let’s Plays, E-Sports commentary, UGC, and/or modding communities can add depth and meaning to the experience.
Facilitation & Communication
Facilitators guiding the discussion after gameplay can prompt questions to guide thinking, mitigate confusion, and create deeper understanding.
Collaboration
The act of collaborative problem solving (with players or NPCs) can greatly increase the effectiveness of a player’s learning experience.
Competition
At worst, competition without meaningful context has the risk of actively encouraging anti-environmental behaviors and thinking.
System Realism
Simulations that directly and accurately reflect a real-world system can build incredibly rich system knowledge.
Collecting Scientific Data
Game designers can gamify the collection of data such as gas levels, electrical consumption, and water quality. 
Locality & Local Knowledge
While limiting in its scalability, local games are highly focused and have shown significant, measurable impact on communities in a variety of contexts.
Real World Action
Real World Action Games (RWAGs) require players to take action outside of the game, such as engaging with nature or reducing their carbon footprint.
Investment in Specifics
Including specific places or developing named, fleshed-out characters can encourage emotional investment in protecting those places or creatures.
Conflicting Goals
Conflicting goals force the player to accept limited success, choose a goal to prioritize, or risk failure by riding the fence.
Transactive Learning & Transformational Play
When player action significantly impacts the game world in ways that are visible and persistent, it can boost emotional engagement and sense of self-efficacy.
Sensory Affect
Emotional connection to environmental issues can be approached through design of visual art, audio or force feedback.
No-Win Scenarios
When used to consider real world situations, no-win scenarios can force a player to reconsider the validity of a solution they may take for granted.
New Goal Orientation
By working towards new, unfamiliar goals, players build empathy, learn, and think critically about solving real world issues.
Forced Discomfort
Players can be made to confront difficult truths or experience difficult situations by forcing discomfort through audio-visual elements, or social norm violation.
Experimentation & Inquiry
Experiment-based gameplay leads to model-based reasoning and systematic knowledge.
Intrinsic Integration
When understanding the target concepts is necessary to interact with the game, learning becomes fun.