Using scenario games to experiment with Anthropocene futures
The Anthropocene presents an urgent need to transform the role of humans in the earth system. New scenario approaches are needed to imagine and experiment with novel, feasible futures that avoid the traps of present bias, fatalism, and technological utopia. A promising approach has created a database of current practices worldwide that have the potential to be ‘seeds’ of desirable Anthropocene futures. These seeds can be used as building blocks in various approaches to create future scenarios. One approach is the development and use of games as interactive scenario generators. Scenario games harness many benefits of participatory modelling approaches – they are system representations with rules, resources and interactions, and can be used to experiment with system behaviors and outcomes. Scenario games also have much in common with scenario narrative development, because games represent dynamic game worlds, game play creates narratives in such worlds. Games also have specific advantages beyond models and narrative scenarios – their focus on actor perspectives means that game players can step into different roles to experience future worlds, and interact with other game roles to experiment with actor interactions in iterative processes between multiple player decisions and game consequences. We report on the development and application of a series of analogue and digital games that have been created by researchers and game designers to imagine and experiment with the transformative potential of different ‘seed’ initiatives. We compare how different game rules and conditions, including the use of contextual scenarios, the numbers and roles of players, and digital or analogue formats, lead to different ways to collect, use and/or combine seeds, to different development pathways for seed initiatives, and ultimately to different Anthropocene futures and insights for present day action. We also discuss the potential role for such games to up-scale engagement with the creation of seed-based futures.
Contributed session oral presentation
Monday, 21 August
11:30 - 13:00
11:30 - 13:00