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.


Traffic O2 is a powerful example of an RWAG. In this game based in real-world Palermo, players reduce their motor vehicle use in exchange for in-game currency that can be spent at participating businesses primarily accessible by foot or bicycle. The result is a significant increase in business for the local stores and a decrease in the carbon footprint of the players.


  • RWAGs provide players with direct actions they can take and can have immediate and measurable results, such as carbon reduction, when they are designed to do so.
  • RWAGs also create a sense of self-efficacy and communal involvement while encouraging systems thinking, all critical elements for sustained, effective pro-environmental behavior.


  • RWAGs employ situated learning, or the concept of learning by doing within a context. This approach to habitualization and skill building is the foundation of modern learning approaches.
  • RWAGs are natural community-building games since the reward for participation often involves social connection with like-minded players.

From the Environmental Game Design Playbook
– by IGDA Climate SIG