The effects of serious gaming on risk perceptions of climate tipping points
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionClimatic Change. 2022, 170, 31 10.1007/s10584-022-03318-x
A growing body of research indicates that effective science-policy interactions demand novel approaches, especially in policy domains with long time horizons like climate change. Serious games offer promising opportunities in this regard, but empirical research on game effects and games’ effectiveness in supporting science-policy engagement remains limited. We investigated the effects of a role-playing simulation game on risk perceptions associated with climate tipping points among a knowledgeable and engaged audience of non-governmental observers of the international climate negotiations and scientists. We analysed its effects on concern, perceived seriousness, perceived likelihood and psychological distance of tipping points, using pre- and post-game surveys, debriefing questions and game observations. Our findings suggest that the game reduced the psychological distance of tipping points, rendering them more ‘real’, proximate and tangible for participants. More generally, our findings indicate that role-playing simulation games, depending on their design and future orientation, can provide effective science-policy engagement tools that allow players to engage in future thinking and corresponding meaning making.