Deliberative Games

Release Date: Fall 2010

Deliberative games can become a new genre of serious games (games with a purpose beyond entertainment) that provides an urgently needed, non-partisan, trustworthy medium which supports personal and public deliberation about difficult yet crucial socio-scientific issues. Decision-making in the domain of climate change is complex in part because partisan organizations in favor of and opposed to government regulations both present themselves as drawing upon scientific authority. Complex socio-scientific issues become politicized and get framed as debates to be won rather than difficult problems to be solved.

Our deliberative game will help players effectively grapple with the complex issues related to climate change, explore and weigh personal and societal values, and understand the trade-offs and sacrifices involved in addressing difficult shared problems. By creating new and better mechanisms for effective citizen deliberation about scientifically or technically complex social issues like the climate change DG we propose here, 1) the public will be better equipped to come to thoughtful judgment about pressing issues and be less vulnerable to the influence of partisan media campaigns and 2) the scientific community’s capacity to make research more accessible and more deeply a part of public deliberation and decision-making will be enhanced.


Carrie Heeter: PI

Brian Winn: Co-PI

Len Fleck: Co-PI