Connecting People and Places: Countering ‘Nature Deficit disorder’ with Location Based Games

Catherine Grundy, Josephine Lavelle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


This paper describes a project to implement location-based mobile games in a UK woodland, in collaboration with Forestry England, using a series of design guidelines developed through earlier research. The primary aim was to connect young people (aged 8-12) with rural environments, to counter the detachment younger generations have from our natural world. This study is part of a broader research undertaking and findings described here specifically relate to how affordances and signifiers in the physical environment can influence both the level of challenge and the will of the player to overcome such challenges. Co-designing with children helped to ensure playability and reveal properties that would appeal to their emotional needs. Working with wildlife experts at Forestry England and the Sussex Wildlife Trust also provided key information about real world activities suitable for children, facts about nature, habitats, landscapes and other content requirements. The design guidelines resulting from this project should be helpful to any researchers or developers that wish to develop games in future that encourage immersion across physical and virtual worlds, alongside an awareness of place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Game-Based Learning
Subtitle of host publicationThe University of Southern Denmark
EditorsLars Elbaek, Gunver Maigaard, Andrea Valente
Place of PublicationSonning Common
PublisherAcademic Conferences International Limited
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781912764389
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Connecting People and Places: Countering ‘Nature Deficit disorder’ with Location Based Games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this