Serious games for sustainable shrimp farming in Viet Nam (ALEGAMS)
Duration: April 01, 2015 – December 2018
Aim: Role playing games play an increasing role in changing the mind set of stakeholders. In this project the effect of these games on the attitude, opinion and practices of shrimp farmers and policymakers in the Mekong Delta are investigated. The project ALEGAMS (a Project to Assess the Learning Effects of Games on the Attitude of Mekong Delta’s Stakeholders on Sustainable Shrimp Farming) assesses the learning effects of combining Role Playing Games (RPG) and participatory Agent Based Model (ABM) on (1) farmers knowledge, attitude and adoption of integrated mangrove-shrimp systems (IMSS) or related technologies, and on (2) policymakers knowledge and opinion of the Delta.
Objective: The two-fold objective of this project is to analyse: 1) the effectiveness of RPG in triggering learning by farmers and on their adoption of IMSS and related practices. 2) the effect of using ABM and of combining RPG and ABM on knowledge and attitude of extension agents and policy-makers, and on policies relating to IMSS and related practices.
Method: The consortium refines and apply the RPG and ABM for three provinces, and monitor and assess the changes in attitude, opinion and practices.
Thereto the project proposes a novel methodology of analysis considering different levels of social organisation: from the individual attending the RPG and ABM workshops, to the group of shrimp farmers to whom he/she relates and to the community where he/she lives.
Country: Viet Nam.
Dutch policy goals: More efficient markets; and A better business climate.
Year 1: Two junior Vietnamese researchers drafted mono-graphs on potential project areas. Based on these studies three pilot sites were selected, two in Tra Vinh and one in Ben Tre province. In November 2015, complementary data were collected there for the Agent Based Model (ABM). Based on these data an MSc student implemented a first version of an ABM that includes social interaction. In January 2016 a first survey was held focussing on assessing social learning of farmers and policymakers. The RolePlaying Game (RPG) is evaluated and adapted. This game will be applied in the coming period, and its impact evaluated.
Year 2: After round one of RPGs (Role Playing Games) with farmers the partners held a mid-term workshop in October 2016. The participants concluded that the RPG and its implementation needed an overhaul before the 2nd round. The stakeholders suggested the appropriate period, November-December 2017, giving ample time for changes to be done. After testing with CTU students (March), an expanded WUR team (April), Dutch RPG experts (May), and finally selected farmers in the three sites (June), the new RPG is ready for printing in a distributable version. In the meantime the adjusted Agent Based Model (ABM) is (almost) ready for Tra Vinh, and can be calibrated for Ben Tre after updating the digital map. The 3 rd round of RPGs will be done March-April 2018, their assessments in June and the policy workshop in end-July. After which, the project can assess the impact of combining RPG and ABM, and present its findings.