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PDF 1.29 MB
Pages 389–396
First published 20 July 2015

The Digital Aquarist: An Interactive Ecology Simulator

Julian Schikarski, Oliver Meisch, Sarah Edenhofer, and Sebastian von Mammen


In this paper, we present an interactive simulation of the ecological cycle in a fish tank. Like the owner of a real fish tank, the user of the simulation has to balance several vital parameters of the aquatic system. Next to people interested in the world of aquatics in general, the simulation especially targets teenagers and aims at increasing their interest in ecosystems, and to contributing to their understanding of basic ecological principles. We engage the user introducing various gamification elements, including game-like UI elements, high scores, and a diligently adjusted reward system that allows for adding new inhabitants to the aquarium. Based on a user study, we evaluate our concept and layout possible improvements and extensions.