The innovation lies in the fact that we use the concept of Habitus defined by Bourdieu to guide us when distributing features to roles. It implies to define for each role a specific simulation environment (visualization, access to information, possible actions) that fits his objective and forces the participant to follow particular action rationales towards the environment. This results in a type of participatory simulation that amplifies the effect of decentering (change of perspective) experienced by participants of a session. It encourages them to deal with plural perspectives and a diversity of representations of the same system. The concept was tested and implemented in an application called NewDistrict. This participatory simulation tool is addressed to an audience concerned by urban development projects and aims to facilitate collective learning on the effects of peri-urbanization on biodiversity.
Preliminary results show that it fosters awareness and understanding about differences between the action rationales of roles towards the environment. Considering how distant stakeholders’ perceptions may be regarding environmental management, we think that distributed asymmetric simulation is especially well suited to applications in the domain of Human-Nature relationship.
participatory simulation, role-playing game, asymmetric gameplay, biodiversity
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