+SPACES: Serious Games for Role-Playing Government Policies
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.
KeywordsEconomic Crisis Europe Transportation Turkey Metaphor
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 http://www.positivespaces.eu). We would also like to express our thanks to our colleagues on the +Spaces project for their support and contributions to this work.
- Castronova, E. (2001, December). Virtual worlds: A first-hand account of market and society on the Cyberian Frontier (CESifo Working Paper No. 618). Munich: CESifo Group. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=294828
- Castronova, E. (2005). Synthetic worlds: The business and culture of online games. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Castronova, E. (2008). A test of the law of demand in a virtual world: Exploring the petri dish approach to social science (CESifo working paper series No. 2355). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1173642
- Duke, R. D., & Geurts, J. L. (2004). Policy games for strategic management. Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers.Google Scholar
- Edmonds, B., & Hales, D. (2003). Replication, replication and replication—Some hard lessons from model alignment. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 6(4). Available at http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/6/4/11.html
- Gardner, M., Gánem-Gutiérrez, A., Scott, J., Horan, B., & Callaghan, V. (2011). Immersive education spaces using Open Wonderland from pedagogy through to practice. In G. Vincenti & J. Braman (Eds.), Multi-user virtual environments for the classroom: Practical approaches to teaching in virtual worlds (pp. 190–205). Hershey: Information Science Reference.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Horan, B. (2012). Wonderland webcaster, part two. Open Wonderland Blog. http://blogs.openwonderland.org/2012/05/14/wonderland-webcaster-part-two/
- Horan, B., & Gardner, M. (2012). Role-play simulations in Wonderland. Open Wonderland Blog. http://blogs.openwonderland.org/2012/05/07/role-play-simulations-in-wonderland/
- Kardara, M., Fuchs, O., Aisopos, F., Papaoikonomou, A., Tserpes, K., & Varvarigou, T. (2011). A service oriented architecture enabling policy simulation in virtual spaces. In Games and virtual worlds for serious applications (VS-GAMES), 2011 third international conference on 4–6 May 2011, pp. 236–243.Google Scholar
- Koper, R., & Tattersall, C. (Eds.). (2005). Learning design: A handbook on modelling and delivering networked education and training. Berlin/New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Tserpes, K., Jacovi, M., Gardner, M., Triantafillou, A., & Cohen, B. (2010). +Spaces: Intelligent virtual spaces for eGovernment. In Intelligent environments (IE), 2010 sixth international conference on 19–21 July 2010, pp. 318–323.Google Scholar
- van Ments, M. (1999). The effective use of role-play (2nd ed.). London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar