+SPACES: Serious Games for Role-Playing Government Policies

  • Bernard Horan
  • Michael Gardner
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


This chapter explores how role-play simulations in virtual worlds can be used to support policy discussion and refinement. Although the work described is set primarily within the context of policy formulation for government, the lessons learnt are applicable to online learning and collaboration within virtual environments. The chapter focuses on the most challenging part of the project, which is to provide environments that can simulate some of the complexities of the physical world. Some examples of different approaches to simulation in virtual spaces are provided and the issues associated with them are further examined. We conclude that the use of role-play simulations seem to offer the most benefits in terms of providing a generalizable framework for citizens to engage with real issues arising from future policy decisions.


Space Project Virtual World Physical World Virtual Space Social Networking Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work is partially funded in the 7th framework of the European scientific targeted research project +Spaces, which is co-financed by the European Commission, through theme ICT-2009.7.3 ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling under contract no. 248726 (see We would also like to express our thanks to our colleagues on the +Spaces project for their support and contributions to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and Electronic EngineeringThe University of EssexColchesterUK
  2. 2.Digital Lifestyles CentreThe University of EssexColchesterUK

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