This is an old revision of the document!

(an experiment from the March workshop)

Hypothesis / Challenge

“When is engaging the public the best way of changing the rules? and how?”

Experiment design

OEmbed Error
  • All resolution methods failed

full size image

To begin with, collecting examples of previous public engagements where public engagement did or didn't work (e.g. make poverty history, fish fight, whaling moratorium, ozone layer depletion, etc+) in some cases campaigns are not hung on the main issue, but use lateral issues. timing is very important (e.g. elections, public consultations)

As an example or test case to use as the basis for our experiment, we would use the review of the Habitats and Wild birds directive. We will set up a game or simulation of the legislative process to compare different inputs, player engagement and outcomes. By running through several iterations of the game, different modes and timing of public engagment can be compared.

design steps;

  • map existing legislative process into something like a flow-chart
  • survey existing simulations and work related to simulations of EU legislative process
  • design a simulation (based on the results of first step)
  • play simulation (with various strategies, etc) possibly updating the design
  • document analyse games


  • knowledge of legislative process
  • simulation design
  • recruit players
  • players
  • documenting game iterations
  • evaluate strategies


  • SL: analysis
  • SL: knowledge regarding step 1
  • ?: brainstorming
  • MVL: the voting guy - cities
  • MVL: coalition building & outreach
  • ?: recruit potential players
  • ?: oceans world bank as example
  • catarina: help review game desing and rules
  • foam: contact with game designers
  • amy: help find players and be a sounding board


27 Mar - conference call between Louisa, Sandy, Amber, Dave. Sandy to come up with a summary of legal processes in policy decision making.

Notes on the EU law-making process if the Habitats Directive is opened up for change can be found at Habitats Directive notes


Lots of examples here: and

The great historical example of a game that allows you to explore a political situation is the original version of Monopoly made by Elizabeth Magie in 1904:

Board games in US government:

“One reason why board games are useful is that you can constantly tweak the rules to take account of new insights, says Timothy Wilkie of the National Defence University in Washington, DC.”

“During official gaming sessions, analysts peer over players’ shoulders and challenge their reasoning. Afterwards, they incorporate the insights gleaned into briefings for superiors.”

'Bumper Crop' is probably the best example that we've worked on. It was made by rural farmers in India about the issues they face, and was designed to tell their stories by putting players into their shoes and making the decisions they have to make day to day. In workshops with them it also triggered a lot of conversation between farmers about how they work and differences with regional variations of crops and taxes etc. The final game consisted of a board you move around with a dice with 60 locations representing events spread out over a growing season.

Here are some examples:

Dave was on the advisory panel for the project and at the end we made a mobile version for wider dissemination:

'Naked on Pluto' was a political satire we made that explores online privacy via a facebook game. We also used this in lots of workshops with students allowing them to study these issues in depth and it won the 2011 Vida award:

“Eat It!” was the board game about supermarkets and small local markets by Selena Savic. All I can find online about it now is this photo I took:

This was a territorial 'capturing space' game, with different rules depending if you were playing the role of a corporation or a small business.

I could see something like this representing the voting intention of members of parliament, perhaps changes driven with a more sequential board representing the progression of the legal process.


  • marine_colab/game_on_experiment.1429003940.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2015-04-14 09:32
  • by nik