Design, implementation and test of a serious online game for exploring complex relationships of sustainable land management and human well-being

Author(s): Schulze, J., R. Martin, A. Finger, C. Henzen, M. Lindner, K. Pietzsch, A. Werntze, U. Zander, R. Seppelt
In: Environmental Modelling and Software 65: 58–66
Year: 2015
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Stewardship
Link to centre authors: Martin, Romina
Full reference: Schulze, J., R. Martin, A. Finger, C. Henzen, M. Lindner, K. Pietzsch, A. Werntze, U. Zander, R. Seppelt. 2015. Design, implementation and test of a serious online game for exploring complex relationships of sustainable land management and human well-being. Environmental Modelling and Software 65: 58–66.

Summary

Land is a limited resource providing various services. Decisions on land use shape the distribution of these life support functions and thus require understanding of complex feedbacks between decisions on land use and human resource appropriation. Due to multiple nonlinear feedbacks between management, productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being, complexity is an inherent property of land systems.

We present an educational game, which aims at illustrating options of sustainable land management to the interested public, students and stakeholders. The game provides the opportunity to govern a country by exploring how contrasting dimensions of sustainability (economy, environment and social conditions), can be harmonized regionally, while continuously being threatened by global trade fluctuations. The game was tested by several groups of students from high schools and universities. The feedback shows that the game is a valuable tool in environmental education initiating learning the complexity of feedbacks in land use and resources appropriation.

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