April 24-26, 2019 | Bern, Switzerland
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387T: Just a game or a game changer ? A role-playing game to explore the influence of knowledge, communication and collective action on landscape management
How do we support transformation?
It is often assumed in natural resources management that communication helps to solve the ‘tragedy of the commons’ by way of shared knowledge and better coordination. Our aim with this interactive session is to challenge this idea through the implementation of a simple game called ReHab (https://www.commod.org/modeles/rehab).
ReHab is a computer-assisted role-playing game, both cooperative and competitive, that highlights the role of knowledge production and communication for natural resources conservation and landscape management.
During the session, participants will embody the roles of Harvesters or Rangers and will interact with an abstract landscape where a resource is distributed in discrete units of biomass. The landscape is also a nesting and breeding ground for a protected migratory bird. The Rangers’ task is to maximize bird reproduction by creating protected areas, while harvesters have to collect biomass, their only source of income. Rules about biomass regeneration, distribution amongst harvesters, and bird reproduction are not disclosed to the players.
The session will include two successive scenarios: without communication between players and then with communication. A final collective debriefing will bring out the level of understanding of the hidden rules, the individual and collective strategies and how these influenced the outcomes of the game.
The role of communication will be discussed by comparing the results of the two scenarios. We will also analyze how strategies are elaborated as players usually construct and articulate rational decisions based on limited or even flawed understanding of the rules. The game will also allow discussion of the roles of law enforcement, power games, trust and leadership in resolving trade-offs between conservation and development. Finally, participants will be invited to share insights and draw comparisons from their own projects that would echo what will happen during the session.
Session Organizers: Claude Garcia, Anne Giger Dray, and Christophe Le Page
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