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Serious Gaming

Serious gaming CE DelftAs an extension of its research and consultancy work, over the past few years CE Delft has teamed up with Delft Technological University to develop a number of Serious Games designed to create concrete exposure to all kinds of policy dilemmas. All the games provide a good approximation of real-world situations and parameters, rooted in years of experience at CE Delft, but are above all fun to play. In our experience a serious game can work wonders at a one-day strategy event or afternoon meeting. As part of a project launch, too,  a serious game is a good quick-fire means of introducing co-workers to issues. 

CE Delft facilitates these games either in-house at your company or organisation, or at our offices in the old town of Delft. The games can be dovetailed into one of your own events or meetings, but we can also organise a full afternoon programme comprising an introductory talk, game, evaluation and discussion. For each game we have specialists who can provide additional information on the issues involved. Having played the games, you’re welcome to contact us for follow-up. Besides playing the existing games, we can of course also develop a new game in collaboration with your organisation. For more information contact Geert Bergsma.

What games do we have?

Biomadness: Global trade in biomass, food and emission rights

This game, about the world’s energy, food and nature, was developed by CE Delft in collaboration with Delft Technological University. It explores the interrelationship between climate, renewable energy, land use and food. In doing so, the game incorporates global trade and the various political debates across the continents in realistic fashion. It works very well as an introduction or illustration at strategy meetings on biomass, land use change, sustainable biomass and the relationship between food and energy. In the game five to fifteen people take on the role of running five continents. Their job: to make their citizens happy, deciding how much land they devote to food and energy production and how much they leave as unspoilt nature. Converting nature to farmland may be lucrative in terms of timber output and productive cropland, but these days citizens on many continents are critical of such developments. At the same time there is day-to-day intercontinental trade in food, energy and emission rights. While the game does not mirror reality precisely, it gives players a realistic experience of the interconnections and trade-offs between food, energy and nature in a globalised world with international trade and inevitable choices about land use. The game is not just realistic, though. It’s also fun to play as a group. It takes one to two hours, and can be accompanied by a short explanatory talk before or after. For more information contact Geert Bergsma or download the leaflet.

Serious game created by CE Delft turned into water game for Kenya

Based on the CE Delft game BIOMAdneSS, Abby Onencan, a PhD student at Delft Technological University, has developed a serious game providing insight into the water problems of the Nile. The Nile flows through a number of countries and is used for hydroelectric power and irrigation, but is also of vital importance for regional ecosystems. CE Delft supported Abby in his work in transforming the game. Policy-makers at the Kenyan Water ministry have already played the game, in which they had to find ways to transcend some of the conflicts of interest among the Nile nations and allocate water resources across agriculture, power generation and ecosystems.

Enore: renewable energy - subsidised or mandatory?

Enore is a game about whether renewable energy should be promoted mainly through subsidies or an obligation to producers. It was developed jointly by CE Delft and Delft Technological University. While sophisticated in design, the game is straightforward to play. Experts report that it provides a realistic experience of the policy dilemma. In a number of rounds of play, a government and three energy companies try and make profits while at the same time striving for a substantial share of renewable energy in the Netherlands. The government starts out with a subsidy scheme (as is presently the case in this country), which it can opt to review each year. The game is played through to 2020, at which point it is assessed whether the 35% target for renewables has been achieved. Another option is to play the game in parallel groups, to find out how different government and business strategies pan out. For more information contact Geert Bergsma.

Greencompany: about the marketing of green energy products

Greencompany is a computer-assisted board game about the development and consumer marketing of ‘green heat’. In this game four Greencompanies take on the Global Heating Company, which starts off with full control of the market with its fossil-based product. By smart handling of their product development, marketing and pricing policies, the four Greencompanies can acquire customers from this global giant as well as from one another. In the background, the government tries to stimulate the market to the best of its ability with various policies and campaigns. The market comprises five types of consumer, each in pursuit of their own particular goal: price, security of supply, convenience, environment and status. Which of these target groups will help you take over the market? This game provides a good picture of what’s involved in marketing a green heat product, as well as the interplay between government and industry. Lasting between one and two hours, it can be played under the supervision of CE Delft by 5 to 25 people. We have played it numerous times with government agencies, companies and consultancies. For more information contact Geert Bergsma.

Protein Politics: climate policy for proteins in a political arena

This game is concerned with ideas about climate policy for the product meat and how to get them implemented in the political arena. Developed jointly by CE Delft and Delft Technological University, it is based on actual proposals for such policies in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. These proposals are thrown into a political Arena where Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, Greens and Democrats put forward their ideas and pursue the policies that appeal most to them. In doing so, they try and establish coalitions for the policy packages they have in mind. Obviously, opinion polls also play a role. Parties need to serve their constituencies, or votes will be lost. The game is very suitable as part of an activity on environmental/climate policy for the meat/protein industry. Every conceivable policy option comes up for discussion, and the complexities of political debate are reflected especially well. If players are already familiar with the ins and outs of the issue, it is also a good way to explore the political realm. This game can be played by between 5 and 20 people and lasts 1 to 2 hours. For more information contact Geert Bergsma, Martijn Blom.

The Energy Rights game: a simulated emissions trading scheme

In this simulation game a group of players gains virtual experience with an emissions trading scheme. The game is supported by powerful computer software with a well-designed interface. It provides a good illustration of the unpredictability of trading schemes in their initial phase. It can also be reconfigured to represent other kinds of trading schemes. For more information contact Geert Bergsma.

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