Role Play Games for Learning and Better Understanding of Environmental Challenges

Organised by Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing

Mon 1 May 2017 09:00 to 18:00

Venue Atlas, building number 104
Room 2
Transformative change is a process investigated by many who seek to understand how to design and implement intervention which could bring about more sustainable futures. Practitioners and academics are interested in interventions which can trigger transformative change, they are busy with projects meant to design, deliver and assess such interventions. Many, and different types of, interventions are currently being explored, but the one of interested to this event are a type of serious games: role playing games. Role playing games (RPG) are games which simulate given circumstances where participants/ players can take and choose to play in different roles. RPG have been used by educators to support their teaching as RPG allow to explore with different situations and in so doing allow to learn content. In the view of recent interest for learning based transformative change RPG have attracted the attention also of researchers who see potential in RPG to support learning with local communities and stakeholders.

While playing the game participants are exposed to information, discuss own experiences, share opinions about positive and negative aspects, can explore with real-world circumstances and reflect on implications of alternative decisions they may take in the course of a game (Medema et al., 2016; Salvini et al., 2016; Van der Wal et al., 2016). There is thus some interesting potential in RPG to enhance learning about real-world environmental challenges, however, while several studies have reported on examples of RPG, there is comparably less research about how to go about the assessment of RPG influence on learning, social learning and transformative change. Therefore it is an aim of this workshop to bring together researchers with an interest in this subject matter to discuss aspects of interest in relation to RPG research and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Format and deliverables
The workshop designed as one full day event made of thematic sessions and hands-on activities where research and practice in RPG in the context of transformative change and social learning will be discussed and experienced. Practitioners in RPG will be invited to share their views, outline knowledge needs, and participate in the discussion of prospective deliverables. As an outcome of this event we envisage the development of joint products for academic audiences (e.g. edited volume and/or journal articles), but also products meant to contribute to non-academic dialogue and outreach (e.g. such as summary sheets, media articles and blogs). Also, the event might serve as a platform to develop and share ideas which can be pursued as part to future proposal to open calls.

Workshop organization
The workshop is co-organized by the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing and the Chairgroup of Aquaculture & Fisheries of the Wageningen University & Research as part to the ALEGAMS project, a collaboration between Wageningen University, Can Tho University (Vietnam) and IUCN funded under NWO-WOTRO.

The organizing committee consists of dr. Romina Rodela (WUR), dr. Roel Bosma (WUR), Prof. dr. Bregt Arnold (WUR), Ass. Prof. dr. Arend Ligtenberg (WUR), and Nguyen Thi Huynh Phuong (WUR/CTU).

For further questions please contact:

Preliminary Programme

9.00 - 9.15 Welcoming participants and introducing the activities
Presenting participants

Session 1: RPG as an Intervention

Coffee break & networking

Session 2: RPG and validation research

Wrap-up of morning sessions and expression of interest on planned deliverables

Lunch & further networking

Session 3: Hands-on a RPG
Abt 2,5 hour play
Games as a tool to encourage civic engagement & change of practices: validation research
(De Grove et al., 2012; Neys & Jansz, 2010; Raessens, 2010).

Wrap-up of afternoon session: reflecting and exploring the potential of RPG as intervention