Who are we?
The Nordic Alliance for Sustainability in Gaming (NASG) is an inter-university network whose aim is to promote environmental and cultural sustainability in games education and the videogame industry.
Our main goals are:
- Raise awareness about issues relating to environmental and cultural sustainability in gaming
- Promote more sustainable practices in videogame production, regulation, consumption, and games education
- Cooperate with the game industry and policy-makers in the Nordic region on issues relating to sustainability
- Use games as a focal point for reflection on broader issues relating to sustainability
In its first year, the network will explore the possibilities of combining practices and expertise in games education with those in sustainability education. In summer 2022, the network will organize an international seminar and game jam in Tallinn dedicated to environmental and cultural sustainability.
The network’s current members are:
- Tallinn University (Estonia)
- University of Turku (Finland)
- University of Skövde (Sweden)
- Uppsala University (Sweden)
- University of Iceland (Iceland)
- IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
The network has been established thanks to support from the Nordplus Higher Education Program run by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Why is this important?
Digital games are in an ambiguous position when it comes to sustainability. On the one hand, gaming is a major global industry that is responsible for a considerable amount of environmental pollution, electricity consumption, rare-earth metal use, etc. On the other hand, there are numerous digital games that have been successful at raising awareness about environmental and broader societal issues, as well as various initiatives aimed at promoting greener gaming and departing from the unsustainable paradigm of gaming as a technological arms race.
The issue of sustainability in gaming is not limited to environmental aspects: it also concerns diversity, inclusivity, and job security—issues that the game industry has struggled with over the years. There is an increasing recognition that building a greener future necessitates moving away from precarious labor, discriminatory hiring practices, and stereotypical representations.
As such, when it comes to sustainability, gaming is part of the problem, but it can also be part of the solution. This solution would involve many layers: promoting more sustainable gaming practices, facilitating better employment opportunities in the gaming industry, using digital games as a medium to raise awareness of broader sustainability issues. In order to accomplish these, it is imperative that institutions from different countries and with diverse research and teaching portfolios join forces.
Our aim is to create an international network focusing on sustainability in digital gaming. The institutions in the network will build on their existing portfolios in teaching, research, and development in order to attack the issue of sustainability from a range of angles.