Serious Games

This page deals with the method of serious games, which is used as a tool to support social-ecological systems (SES) understanding and governance, often as part of the toolbox of participatory approaches. The content on this page discusses how serious games can be used to explore the consequences of collective decisions and of external drivers. It discusses how games can give people understanding of system dynamics, and allow for developing a joint representation of an SES, collecting information on collective behaviour, education on the complexity of SES, crisis management training and institutional arrangement as major applications of serious games used in SES research.

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 12 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of Serious Games.

Method Summaries

There are no method summaries for Serious Games yet. Please consider contributing.

Case Studies

There are no case studies for Serious Games yet. Please consider contributing.

Lab teaching/ activity

There are no lab teachings or activities for Serious Games yet. Please consider contributing.

Tips and Tricks

There are no tips and tricks for Serious Games yet. Please consider contributing.
Key Publications related to Serious Games:
  • Bousquet, F., O.  Barreteau, P.  d’Aquino,M.  Etienne, S.  Boissau, S.  Aubert, C.  Le Page, D.  Babin, and J-C. Castella 2002. ‘Multi-agent Systems and Role Games: An Approach for Ecosystem Co-management’, In Complexity and Ecosystem Management: The Theory and Practice of Multi-agent Approaches, edited by M. Janssen, 248–285. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Duke, R.D., and J.L.A. Geurts. 2004. Policy Games for Strategic Management. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press.
  • Meadows, D.L. 2001. Tools for Understandings the Limits to Growth: Comparing a Simulation and a Game. Simulation and Gaming 32(4): 522–536.
  • Sterman, J.D. 1992. ‘Teaching Takes Off – Flight Simulators for Management Education: “The Beer Game”.’
  • Toth, F.L. 1988. Policy Exercises: Objectives and Design Elements. Simulation and Games 19(3): 235–255.