Turning Grey to Green: Engaging Gamification in Sustainability Education with Augmented Reality Technology


  • Matt Ma The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Michel Dik The Hong Kong Polytechnic University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1638-0207
  • Walter Fung The Hong Kong Polytechnic University




Gamification, Sustainability Education, Augmented Reality, Social Innovation, Simulation Games, Green Deck Project


In recent decades, topics of sustainability and carbon neutrality are getting more attention from society and academia in the sense of urbanization and social innovation. Scholars have been proposing methods to achieve sustainability and they emphasize the importance of educating citizens about the ethics of sustainability. Also, in the educational context, there is a trend in applying gamification concepts to promote sustainability. Previous studies have demonstrated that gamification can engage students through interactive content and reward systems, so that they can be motivated to learn and apply knowledge. Nevertheless, limited articles can be found to propose methods for developing technological applications for green innovation education. In addition, scant interest has been shown to include gamification in sustainability education, especially in Hong Kong. Knowing that simulation games may raise students’ curiosity to learn, we designed an augmented-reality-based educational mobile application to investigate their perception of engaging technologies and gamification in the learning process of sustainability education. In this application, there are three major components to be presented. First, various simulation games are included to educate learners with practical skills to nurture sustainable living habits. Cartoons and animations are added to better explain abstract ecological theories, and learners can interact with game characters / elements in real-time motion for an advanced gaming experience. Second, to motivate students to learn the content, digital achievement badges can be earned after winning the mini-games and they can be shared on social media platforms. It is expected that the reward system can attract students to participate actively. Last but not least, the application is hoped to engage Hong Kong citizens and the globe in the Green Deck project of Hong Kong and encourage more social involvement. With reference to the application structure, this study is expected to explore the effects of implementing games and augmented reality on education for sustainable development. Two surveys (pre- and post-surveys) would be established to evaluate the students’ learning experience and knowledge acquisition on sustainability.