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Open Agriculture

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Benefits and challenges of serious gaming – the case of “The Maladaptation Game”

Therese Asplund
  • Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
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/ Tina-Simone Neset
  • Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Janina Käyhkö
  • Faculty of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Lotten Wiréhn
  • Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sirkku Juhola
  • Faculty of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2019-03-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2019-0010


The use of digital tools and interactive technologies for farming systems has increased rapidly in recent years and is likely to continue to play a significant role in meeting future challenges. Particularly games and gaming are promising new and innovative communication strategies to inform and engage public and stakeholders with scientific research. This study offers an analysis of how a research based game on climate change maladaptation can support, but also hinder players’ sense-making processes. Through the analysis of eight gaming workshops, this study identifies challenges and support for the players’ sense-making. While it concludes that conceptual thinking of game content sometimes clashes with players’ everyday experiences and practice, possibly resulting in loss of credibility, this study also concludes that gaming may function as an eye-opener to new ways of thinking. Overall, this paper suggests that the communication of (social) science and agricultural practices through serious gaming has great potential but at the same time poses challenges due to different knowledge systems and interpretive frameworks among researchers and practitioners.

Keywords: climate change communication; maladaptation; serious gaming; focus groups; public understanding


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About the article

Received: 2018-06-24

Accepted: 2019-01-17

Published Online: 2019-03-26

Published in Print: 2019-01-01

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 107–117, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2019-0010.

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© 2018 Therese Asplund et al., by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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