Eco Tetris: A Serious Game on Sustainability


  • Paula Escudeiro Maria de Sá Escudeiro ISEP/GILT
  • Márcia Campos ISEP/GILT
  • Nuno Escudeiro



Serious game, sustainability, learning process, usability testing, beacons


Recycling has grown to be extremely relevant for the maintenance of our planet, but also for our well-being. Sustainability is a key issue in modern societies, relying on intergenerational care and education to promote recycling habits and social responsibility. Raising awareness towards recycling and healthy environmental habits, and motivating people to become more responsible about sustainability and the environment might be achieved through a game, designed to be simple and intuitive and to enhance the learning process. Eco Tetris is a game, designed to teach about the importance of recycling. Based on the well-known Tetris game, Eco Tetris builds upon this by adding card collecting mechanics and integrating the game with the real world via geo-referencing, beacons, and augmented reality experiences. The main goal of this game is to raise awareness and make the players more conscious of their environmental decisions and habits, while also being entertained. Our primary focus is the older generation, for whom the game is kept simple, in terms of both usability and design. Eco Tetris is a game whose main concern is to transmit knowledge on how to recycle and its importance for our planet. In this game, players are challenged to place the garbage in the right recycling bin. The mechanic is virtually the same as when recycling. Our goal is to imbue the player with recycling habits. The core gameplay loop will have the player doing the sorting exercise – separating garbage in-game, mentally associating it to its right colors. The bridge between the in-game and real-world is achieved via geo-reference modules and beacons. When visiting an eco-point, the player will have access to additional content, like an augmented reality experience, that provides positive reinforcement and knowledge about players’ actions and the environment in general. We expect this game to promote ecological responsibility and a major view of one’s role in the recycling process. The game is developed towards the enhancement of decision-making, memory skills, awareness, responsibility, and learning of its players.