Serious Game System – SELECT ECO TECH

Serious Game System – SELECT ECO TECH

Authors: Thao Do, Neil Powell & Steven Bachelder (Uppsala University).


The overall aim of the Serious Game System (SGS) is to draw on empirical insights generated by the BONUS RETURN project, in a creative, safe and inclusive learning space that invites deliberation over the feasibility of different constellations of ecotechnologies.

Furthermore, it supports a participatory evaluation of the systemic impact different constellations of ecotechnologies have on local contexts in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The Serious Game System is intended to serve as a platform to foster systemic awareness of the biophysical, cultural and socio-economic status of the BSR in order to enhance agility and adaptive capacity when selecting ecotechnologies and responding to disaster risks from unexpected nutrient and pollution emissions.

This report describes the co-design process of the Serious Game System, in the format of a board game entitled SELECT ECOTECH, with stakeholders from three case study contexts: Fyrisån (Sweden), Vantaanjoki (Finland) and Slupia (Poland). The co-design process presented in this report also provides the basis for the development of the digital game system, MONITOR ECOTECH, which is described in deliverable 6.8 of the BONUS RETURN project.

SELECT ECOTECH is a learning platform that fosters knowledge co-production processes enacted through series of iterative playing sessions. In acknowledgement of the accelerated dynamics inherent in wicked situations within the BSR, systemic insights have been revealed in an exploratory and experiential process, grounded in the safe settings orchestrated by play and the “playing out” of challenging situations from the case study settings. Stakeholders both informed and co-developed parts of SELECT ECOTECH through their participation, from (1) contributing to the game content with their local knowledge of ecotechnologies, land use measures and actions, vulnerability to shocks and disasters and; (2) testing and validating the game mechanics. Their contribution aided the incremental building of an increasingly solid and representational Serious Game System.

SELECT ECOTECH has been developed as a platform that can be implemented beyond the BONUS RETURN case studies. The game requires a skilled facilitator and can be played in different organisational settings to support learning processes and decision-making related to the selection and implementation of different constellations of ecotechnologies and other environmental measures and actions. Potential users of SELECT ECOTECH are regional authorities, municipalities, interest organisations, water management companies, NGOs, farmers associations, etc.