Lakes are sometimes thought of as discrete ecological bodies, detached from surrounding landscapes and contained within basins bound by shorelines. However, lakes are dynamic systems with many abiotic and biotic variables affecting varied spatio-temporal scales. Video games have the potential to teach players how these systems operate.

Econauts immerses players in a rich environment, making difficult-to-observe ecological phenomena visible in a living landscape that players explore and examine to explain the relationships between choices that humans make and their ecological consequences.

By leveraging the Assessment Data Aggregator for Gaming Environments (ADAGE) system, Econauts can remotely log game data. Information regarding player choices and experiences are uploaded and stored so that players, educators, and researchers can examine real-time gameplay in an attempt to evaluate performance and refine techniques.