Abstract

Serious games provide a way for stakeholders to become engaged in and understand the issues and constraints on a real-world system. An application of a serious game is explored, as a way to improve engagement and learning of participants in a water management planning process. Bow River Sim is a single-player game that helps the user to understand the Water Resources Management Model (WRMM) and to visualize the implications and impacts around system interactions in the basin. The Bow River Sim simulates water management decision-making based on maximizing social, economic, and environmental benefits while managing limited water supply. The game incorporates the principles of ‘meaningful play’ and provides a user-friendly interface, a fun game, and visual elements. The paper aims to (a) provide an overview of Bow River Sim, (b) illustrate how innovations such as serious games enhance learning processes for the user, and (c) illustrate the application of Bow River Sim and key learnings.

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