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Title: Simulation games that integrate research, entertainment, and learning around ecosystem services

Humans currently spend over 3 billion person-hours per week playing computer games. Most of these games are purely for entertainment, but use of computer games for education has also expanded dramatically. At the same time, experimental games have become a staple of social science research but have depended on relatively small sample sizes and simple, abstract situations, limiting their range and applicability. If only a fraction of the time spent playing computer games could be harnessed for research, it would open up a huge range of new opportunities. We review the use of games in research, education, and entertainment and develop ideas for integrating these three functions around the idea of ecosystem services valuation. This approach to valuation can be seen as a version of choice modeling that allows players to generate their own scenarios taking account of the trade-offs embedded in the game, rather than simply ranking pre-formed scenarios. We outline a prototype game called Lagom Island to test the proposition that gaming can be used to reveal the value of ecosystem services. Ultimately, our prototype provides a potential pathway and functional building blocks for approaching the relatively untapped potential of games in the context of ecosystem services research.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ;  [15] ;  [16]
  1. Australian National Univ., Canberra, ACT (Australia)
  2. Isee Systems Inc., Lebanon, NH (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
  5. Independent Game Designer (United Kingdom)
  6. Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia)
  7. Alberta Innovates, AB (Canada)
  8. CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (Australia)
  9. Centre for Systems Solutions, Wroclaw (Poland)
  10. Australian National Univ., Canberra, ACT (Australia). Fenner School of Environment and Society
  11. Univ.of Maryland, Baltimore City, MD (United States)
  12. James Cook Univ., Cairns, Queensland (Australia). Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science
  13. Australian National Univ., Canberra, ACT (Australia). Research School of Computer Science
  14. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Center for Environmental Science
  15. Univ. of Adelaide, SA (Australia); Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  16. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Cincinnati, OH (United States). Office of Research and Development
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecosystem Services
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2212-0416
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Computer games; Choice modeling; Valuation