Digital entertainment games frequently address current societal issues that are also dealt with in geography education, such as climate change or sustainable city development, and give various opportunities for learning. However, in order to be fully able to determine the games' educational potential and to instruct meaningful reflection on them in class, the designers' approaches to realism regarding these topics need to be understood.
Therefore, we have developed a model of realism in games and conducted 9 interviews with 10 experts from the entertainment game industry about their understanding of and dealing with realism concerning the represented geographical topics. In many cases, the interviewees' approach to incorporating real-world issues can be regarded as beneficial for their games' educational potential, and some designers even pursued learning goals. However, we also identified approaches that can result in questionable presentations of real societal issues. We found the most problematic one to be the prioritization of player expectations for the sake of perceived realism. This approach may lead to the depiction of stereotypes and common misconceptions. The results presented in our study may help teachers to prepare reflection on such misrepresentations in class, or designers to become more aware of the educational implications of different forms of game realism. (Orig.).