Exploring Risk Related to Future Climates through Role-Playing Games: The African Catchment Game.

Rowntree , Kate and Fraenkel, Linda Anne and Fox, R.C. (2009) Exploring Risk Related to Future Climates through Role-Playing Games: The African Catchment Game. In: Future of the Consumer Society, 28–29 May 2009, Tampere, Finland.

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Abstract

Risk is the result of two interacting components: hazard and vulnerability. Climatic hazards are related to extrinsic factors such as drought or severe storms. Vul- nerability is the result of intrinsic factors that often arise from the socio-political- economic context. The interplay of risk and vulnerability is difficult to predict. Although computer models have been widely used to forecast climate related risk, albeit with con- siderable uncertainty, they can never capture sufficiently the vulnerability of human sys- tems to these hazards. Role-playing games can be used more realistically to simulate pos- sible outcomes of different climate change scenarios, and allow players to reflect on their significance. The authors have developed the African Catchment Game to simulate a wa- ter scarce African country. Risk can be modelled mechanistically by changing the nature of the annual rainfall input. Vulnerability can in part be modelled by changing the start- ing parameters (such as access to land and resources) and, secondly, through the unpredictable response of players to game dynamics. Players’ reflections demonstrate that through the game they become more aware of the concept of risk and the complex response of individuals and societies that determine their vulnerability to climatic hazards. This paper reflects on the potential for developing the game further as a tool for participatory learning around climate change, based on the authors’ experience of playing the game with participants from South Africa.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:climate change, risk, role-playing games, educational innovations, Africa
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:3099
Deposited By: Prof Kate Rowntree
Deposited On:26 Jul 2012 10:07
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 08:09

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