"Adaptive Futures" An Interactive Serious Game for Decision-Making and Coastal Hazards - Natural Hazards Research Platform
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“Adaptive Futures™” An Interactive Serious Game for Decision-Making and Coastal Hazards Prepared for Natural Hazards Research Platform October 2019
Prepared by: Paula Blackett, Kate Davies, Ben Davies, Paula Holland and Nick Cradock-Henry For any information regarding this report please contact: Paula Blackett Environmental Social Scientist firstname.lastname@example.org +64-7-859 1864 email@example.com National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd PO Box 11115 Hamilton 3251 Phone +64 7 856 7026 NIWA CLIENT REPORT No: 2019328HN Report date: October 2019 NIWA Project: GNS18201 Quality Assurance Statement Reviewed by: Stephen FitzHerbert Formatting checked by: Alison Bartley Approved for release by: Michael Bruce Cover photo: Seaview – A Typical New Zealand coastal town. (Credit: Monica Pooley) © All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or copied in any form without the permission of the copyright owner(s). Such permission is only to be given in accordance with the terms of the client’s contract with NIWA. This copyright extends to all forms of copying and any storage of material in any kind of information retrieval system. Whilst NIWA has used all reasonable endeavours to ensure that the information contained in this document is accurate, NIWA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the completeness of the information contained herein, or that it will be suitable for any purpose(s) other than those specifically contemplated during the Project or agreed by NIWA and the Client.
Contents Executive summary ............................................................................................................. 5 1 Introduction .............................................................................................................. 6 2 Background ............................................................................................................... 7 3 How the game works ................................................................................................. 9 3.1 The player dashboard – tracking your performance .............................................. 12 4 Game elements........................................................................................................ 13 4.1 The physical environment....................................................................................... 13 4.2 The social environment .......................................................................................... 16 4.3 The financial and economic environment .............................................................. 19 4.4 Adaptation options in the game ............................................................................. 21 5 Evaluating game outcomes....................................................................................... 28 5.1 Methods .................................................................................................................. 28 5.2 Results ..................................................................................................................... 30 6 Discussion ............................................................................................................... 33 7 Conclusions and next steps ...................................................................................... 34 8 Acknowledgements ................................................................................................. 35 9 References............................................................................................................... 35 Appendix A Additional Non-Player Character Information ................................... 39 Appendix B Additional Evaluation Information .................................................... 42 Tables Table 4.1: The RCP’s and their associated potential sea level rise are defined by the range of suggested test scenarios from Table 10 and Table 11 of the Ministry for the Environment guidance Coastal Hazards and Climate Change: Guidance for Local Government 2017 (Bell et al. 2017). 15 Table 4.2: Average household. 20 Table 4.3: Average business. 20 Table 4.4: Sources of cost data. 21 Table 4.5: Description of the beach re-nourishment option. 22 Table 5.1: Learning effects associated with serious games. 28
Figures Figure 3.1: The game screen show at the beginning of each turn. 10 Figure 3.2: The incidence of damaging storm events for the 10-year period 2019-2028 as shown to the player. 11 Figure 3.3: Decision steps within the game. 11 Figure 3.4: The player dashboard – tracking your performance within the game. 12 Figure 4.1: A map of the Seaview community showing the physical setting, the different types of properties and business and their position with respect to the coast (Credit Monica Pooley). 14 Figure 4.2: Non-player character avatars and their location in Seaview township. 17 Figure 5.1: General evaluation framework to assess learning and adaptability outcomes. Adapted from Armitage et al. 2018. 30
Executive summary This report provides an overview of how Adaptive Futures, an interactive online coastal adaptation game tailored to engage a range of user interests (e.g., expert decision makers, students, the wider public), was designed, constructed and tested. Adaptive Futures is a serious game designed to engage diverse communities and build their capacity for addressing complex sea level rise adaptation questions. “Serious games” are games or simulations that are used for purposes beyond entertainment. They are increasingly recognized for their potential to facilitate the exploration of value-laden and contested decisions, and support learning in diverse communities of stakeholders. Adaptive Futures introduces players to some of the physical, social, and economic complexities associated with community-level decision-making and climate change adaptation options. The game targets learning and experimentation by engaging players in plausible climate change scenarios and encouraging them to make real world-type decisions in a ‘safe space’. The game can be deployed as a teaching tool either individually or in a facilitated group setting. It is programmed using the Twine platform (twinery.org), which is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. The format is similar to a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, in which the reader makes a decision on behalf of the character in the story. Evaluation of the range of learning outcomes associated with game play occurred throughout the game design and testing process. Games were tested with key target audiences (e.g., expert decision makers, students, the wider public) through the utilisation of pre- and post- game questionnaires and more general one-on-one or group discussions. The results of this game play are evaluated against a learning and outcomes framework based on Armitage et al. (2018) and adapted for the gaming context. Our findings indicate that through gaming, Adaptive Futures players learn about climate change impacts, implications and adaptation options for coastal regions. The serious game also facilitates experimentation with robust management strategies applicable to a range of climate change scenarios. Access to the game is open to anyone with an internet connection and an interest in considering and reflecting on decision-making under uncertain and changing conditions 1. 1 The most recent version of the game can be found here: https://www.niwa.co.nz/natural- hazards/research-projects/serious-games-for-climate-change-adaptation “Adaptive Futures TM" 5
1 Introduction The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of how Adaptive Futures, an interactive online coastal adaptation game tailored to engage a range of user interests (e.g., expert decision makers, students, the wider public), was designed, constructed and tested. Adaptive Futures is a serious game designed to engage diverse communities and build their capacity for addressing complex sea level rise adaptation questions. Serious games are games or simulations that are used for purposes beyond entertainment (Flood et al. 2018). They are increasingly recognized for their potential to facilitate the exploration of value-laden and contested decisions (Mochizuki et al. 2018), and support learning in diverse communities of stakeholders (Reckien & Eisenack 2013). This report will first cover some background regarding the use of serious games to address complex problems such as climate change. Next, the report will outline how the game functions, followed by a breakdown of the critical elements and building blocks. Finally, a description of the impact of the game on key target user groups (e.g., expert decision makers, students, the wider public) will be provided. 6 “Adaptive Futures TM"
2 Background Climate change is already affecting communities and livelihoods around the world through increased temperatures, prolonged droughts, violent storms, and other extremes. These impacts are expected to increase over time (IPCC 2018). In Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa NZ), where there are more than 18,000 kilometres of coastline, planning for and adapting to the effects of sea level rise are increasingly urgent concerns (Hayward 2008; Manning et al. 2014). Today there are a range of adaptation responses available to address climate change (e.g., hard structures, soft engineering options, relocation), but there is a need for community and provincial buy-in for adaptation option implementation to progress. Ensuring buy-in requires that communities, iwi, hapū and interest groups understand the rationale behind options. However, there are multiple possible combinations of adaptation options to consider over time, often referred to in climate change literature as ‘pathways’ (e.g., Haasnoot et al. 2013; Barnett et al. 2014; Lawrence & Haasnoot 2016; Lawrence et al. 2019a) The opportunities to take many of these pathways are time-limited, and the choice of some adaption pathways in the near-term may limit the ability to choose others in the future. Choosing among a range of pathways is likely to be complicated by strong values, vested interests, and unequal burdens, and therefore can lead to hotly contested adaptation discussions (Adger 2016; Bell et al. 2017; Lawrence et al. 2019b). Given the range of potential paths, their uncertain outcomes, and the social constraints on actions needed to initiate them, adapting to climate change presents as a ‘wicked problem’ (sensu Rittell & Webber 1973; Brown et al. 2010) with no clear, single solution and no easy means to test various options. Wicked problems are characterised by complexity, uncertainty, interdependence, and dispute, and are found in highly interconnected systems. In these systems, technical analysis alone is unlikely to lead to successful resolutions. Instead, stakeholder involvement in decision-making is needed to ensure that multiple conflicting values are aired and negotiated, uncertainties are examined and understood by those likely to be affected, and increased risks are considered and managed (Lawrence et al. 2019b; Bell et al. 2017; Balint et al. 2011; Brown et al. 2010). By using serious games to address climate change, players can learn about the complexity of climate, and simultaneously develop skills for navigating climate change adaptation (Romero et al. 2014). For example, players may have to navigate multiple scales (time and/or space), individual and/or collective problems, and local and/or national issues. Serious games can also encourage players to consider alternative ways forward (pathways planning), and to trial innovative approaches to problem-solving (Lawrence & Haasnoot 2017). In this way, players challenge their own existing beliefs about strategies that will work, confronting their own mental models, and removing potential barriers to adaptation action (Rumore et al. 2016). Game environments can provide opportunities for players to go through this process autonomously or collectively, and they can harness local knowledge or not, depending on their purpose and how they are designed. Serious games encourage players to practice a range of different skill sets; for example, to be successful, players may have to follow rules, deploy strategies, make rapid decisions associated with trade-offs, take risks or resolve conflicts. However, unlike performing these actions in real settings, where consequences could be detrimental to the wellbeing of the actor or others, the simulated environment offered by a game gives actors the opportunity to learn, innovate and experiment with these actions, with consequences that are real in the game world, but pose no threat in reality (Krotoski 2010). The experimental mindset encouraged by this approach is particularly valuable for confronting wicked problems where such safety is absent (Le Page 2016; McGonigal 2011). “Adaptive Futures TM" 7
While the study of serious games began more than 40 years ago, the concept has only seen widespread use in addressing wicked or otherwise complex problems in the last two decades (Wilkinson 2016), and there are still relatively few games designed for climate change adaptation planning (Flood et al. 2018). Using compelling narratives based on real situations from coastal Aotearoa NZ, Adaptive Futures is tailored to address this gap, engaging a range of actors in coastal adaptation planning (e.g., students, Regional Councils, the wider public). Through gaming, players learn about climate change impacts, implications and adaptation options for coastal regions. The serious game also facilitates experimentation with robust management strategies applicable to a range of climate change scenarios. The most recent version of the game can be found here: https://www.niwa.co.nz/natural- hazards/research-projects/serious-games-for-climate-change-adaptation 8 “Adaptive Futures TM"
3 How the game works Adaptive Futures is a serious game designed to introduce players to some of the complexities associated with community-level decision-making and climate change adaptation options. As such, a number of complex components of the game interact to create a plausible adaptation experience for players. The game targets learning and experimentation by engaging players in plausible climate change scenarios and encouraging them to make real world-type decisions in a ‘safe space’. The game can be deployed as a teaching tool either individually or in a facilitated group setting. It is programmed using the Twine platform (twinery.org), which is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. The format is similar to a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, in which the reader makes a decision on behalf of the character in the story. Twine can be used to rapidly prototype simple games, experiment with game features, and build-in complex functionality as needed (Salter 2015). The objective of the game is to protect the Seaview coastal community from the adverse effects of climate change. Players are positioned as leaders of a ‘Climate Committee’ with the job of addressing climate change threats such as coastal inundation – which can harm local homes and businesses – and storm-induced coastal erosion – which can destroy the beach and harm local tourism-based jobs and businesses. To win the game, the player(s) must retain his/her/their seat on the committee without being ejected by disgruntled voters. The severity of climate change in the game is reflected in the rate of sea level rise. This is randomly selected for the player based on different possible climate scenarios (Tables 10 & 11 from Bell et al. 2017; see also Table 4.1). Options are also built into the game so that players can apply their own rates of change, if they want to explore specific scenarios. All player decisions are made in 10-year blocks and have physical, social, and economic consequences. The range of possible adaptation responses available to players is limited by factors such as committee finances and support from the diverse Seaview community. Achieving and maintaining support requires the player to build trust with community stakeholders and iwi/hapū, represented in the game by non-player characters (NPCs) who are each imbued with a unique set of views and values, and who experience the effects of climate change differently depending on their individual perspective and location within the coastal space. Therefore, the game requires the player to balance the sometimes conflicting wishes of community stakeholders and iwi/hapū with the need to manage the immediate and long-term effects of climate change. At the beginning of each turn, players are presented with a summary of the condition of the town, as well as a dynamic map of Seaview that shows flood-affected areas (Figure 3.1). “Adaptive Futures TM" 9
Figure 3.1: The game screen show at the beginning of each turn. Different adaptation strategies can be selected to manage the effects of climate change on the community. Alternatively, players can choose to do nothing and ‘save’ funds for more expensive options. Adaptation strategies include nourishing beaches, building seawalls, and relocating segments of the community. Each of the strategies are described in the game, including benefits, constraints, life span and costs, so players can make informed decisions. The council must have sufficient funds to purchase an option and selecting certain options may constrain the capacity to use other options later. Once a decision has been made, the incidence of severe weather events causing damaging erosion and inundation due to storm surges is calculated and demonstrated (Figure 3.2). 10 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Figure 3.2: The incidence of damaging storm events for the 10-year period 2019-2028 as shown to the player. The number of events affects the persistence of any beach re-nourishment sand and the level of damage to the town. Implications of the preceding adaptation choices, the storm events and the rising seas is presented to the player once again (as in Figure 3.3). The cycle of making a choice and experiencing the consequence continues until the player either succeeds in completing the game by staying in office for 100 years or is removed from office by disgruntled community members. Figure 3.3: Decision steps within the game. “Adaptive Futures TM" 11
3.1 The player dashboard – tracking your performance The player is presented with a range of information in the top left corner of the screen (Figure 3.4), to help assess game progress. This information includes: Sea level: At no point in the game is the player directly told what rate of sea level rise they are experiencing. It can only be inferred from the sea level rise values and is designed to accelerate over time at an unknow rate, similar to the real-world situation. For details see section 4.1. Budget: This relates to rates paid by community stakeholders and may change as the players are affected. For details see section 4.3. Approval rating: The approval rating is based on a unique attitude scoring system developed for the NPCs. Player approval ratings are calculated as the sum point values from NPC attitudes divided by the total possible points if all NPCs were in an adaptive state. If the player’s approval rating dips below 33%, the player is removed from office and the game is over. For details see section 4.2. Figure 3.4: The player dashboard – tracking your performance within the game. 12 “Adaptive Futures TM"
4 Game elements The elements of the game include physical location (Seaview township), a risk to the community in the form of sea level rise, a community with a mix of values, interests, motivations, and sources of income, and a set of adaptation options. These components work together within the game to simulate a plausible decision-making environment for players to navigate, but game components will be detailed individually in the following sections before embarking on a description of how the game works. 4.1 The physical environment The physical environment in which the game is set has two components; the local geography and infrastructure that comprises the Seaview community, and the changing coastal environment and associated erosion and inundation risks that must be confronted. 4.1.1 Local geography and topography It became clear in the early design of the game that anchoring the game in a real identifiable location would be problematic. This is primarily because many communities in at-risk locations feel “watched” and this focus could create unwanted and uncomfortable, and arguably unfair, attention for an already affected group. However, it remained important to situate the game in a setting that felt real and closely mirrored reality, so the issues and challenges were plausible and relatable. In the game, this has resulted in the merging of a real Aotearoa NZ scenario with a more abstracted setting. The result (Figure 4.1) reflects the broadly applicable experience of many small Aotearoa NZ coastal communities with valued communal and private assets at risk; a beach which is used by the local community and visitors; a greenspace with playgrounds and picnic areas; a road along the foreshore that is the sole access into and out of the community; shops and businesses behind the road; high value private beachfront homes (red roofs); a motel that accommodates visitors to the area; other more modest properties (yellow and brown roofs) further away from the sea who are likely to be beach users but whose own properties are not likely to be affected. “Adaptive Futures TM" 13
Figure 4.1: A map of the Seaview community showing the physical setting, the different types of properties and business and their position with respect to the coast (Credit Monica Pooley). The majority of the Seaview infrastructure is located in low-lying areas. The beach has a 20m wide strip of sand that is used for various forms of recreation; walking, swimming, picnics and BBQs, family and social events, and social sports. It is very popular on the weekends and difficult to find a car park. Beach and reserve users often patronise the businesses across the road which are cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops, high-end clothing, gift and antique shops. Over the last few years there has been considerable business development and growth in the area. The 40m wide reserve behind the beach is mostly grass with some large mature shade trees. Three playgrounds are dotted across the reserve catering to children from toddlers to mid-teens. A popular shared pathway and cycleway meanders along the edge of the reserve closest to the road, proving a link to adjacent communities. Demand for homes in the area is high, with most properties for sale on the market for an average of 15 days and fetching values several hundred thousand dollars above the regional median house price. A variety of property types (family homes and townhouses) are available, the most valuable of which are directly adjacent to the local businesses with sea views and easy beach access. The community is considered a safe place to live and has many long-term residents. The road provides access in and out of the community; it is the only access to the business near the reserve, but other properties have additional road access. Behind the community on the hill is a large reserve area which overlooks the beach. Coastal erosion and inundation associated with rising sea levels will impact many of the valued elements associated with this community. 14 “Adaptive Futures TM"
4.1.2 Risk associated with sea level rise The two key impacts of climate change-related sea level rise that will be experienced by the community are coastal erosion and inundation. How quickly these occur in the game will depend on which Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) is randomly selected at the start of the game. The RCP’s and their associated potential sea level rise are defined by the range of suggested test scenarios from Table 10 and Table 11 of the Ministry for the Environment guidance Coastal Hazards and Climate Change: Guidance for Local Government 2017 (Bell et al. 2017). Table 4.1: The RCP’s and their associated potential sea level rise are defined by the range of suggested test scenarios from Table 10 and Table 11 of the Ministry for the Environment guidance Coastal Hazards and Climate Change: Guidance for Local Government 2017 (Bell et al. 2017). “Adaptive Futures TM" 15
This information is embedded in the game and informs the underlying changes in sea level. The emission scenario is randomly selected at the beginning of the game. Damage associated with storm surge and storm related erosion is determined by the frequency of storms in a 10-year period which is generated using a probability model linked with realistic occurrences. 4.2 The social environment The player enters the game environment when sea level rise is beginning to affect Seaview, impacting areas and activities of value to the local community and iwi/hapū. Initially, this manifests as beach erosion, but it can include inundation due to coastal flooding associated with storms and/or sea level rise. The effects of climate-induced sea level rise on the community of Seaview are reflected in the game through the physical effects described in the previous section, and also through the eyes of six non- player characters (NPCs) who have been developed to represent a range of views typically expressed in coastal adaptation debates (Blackett & Hume 2006; Blackett et al. 2010a and b; Rouse et al. 2016). These characters help to reflect the complex realities of coastal adaptation to climate change decision-making. 4.2.1 The non-player characters Each of the six NPCs included in the game has an avatar image, a key location (Figure 4.2) and a back story including interests, preferences, values, and attitudes that shape their opinions regarding the decisions made by the Seaview Climate Committee (for NPC details see Appendix A). The six NPCs are: Kim the fish and chips shop owner. Fern the Activist. Wehi the Resource Management Officer. 16 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Taylor the Tourist. Riley the Ratepayer. Dana the Developer. Figure 4.2: Non-player character avatars and their location in Seaview township. Players can learn about the NPCs through an interactive panel displaying the NPC avatars. When an avatar is clicked, the player can view information about the character’s values and preferences along with a quote from the character indicating their attitude (the content of which is also determined by the character’s position in the attitude matrix; see Figure 4.4). The values expressed by each NPC are loosely associated with one of the four capitals of the Living Standards Framework (LSF) utilised by the New Zealand Treasury to consider intergenerational wellbeing in decision-making 2 (Figure 4.3). For example, Kim the Fish & Chips Shop Owner is primarily concerned about the stability of her business (financial capital), but she is aware of the important influence of the other three capitals (human, natural, and social) on her business and her wellbeing in general. 2 https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/living-standards/our-living-standards-framework “Adaptive Futures TM" 17
Figure 4.3: The Living Standards Framework (LSF) and the four capitals approach utilised by the New Zealand Treasury to promote intergenerational wellbeing. Throughout game play, NPCs shift their desires, responses, and attitudes towards the Seaview Climate Committee, depending on the decisions of the committee (the player) and any subsequent harm they experience from events. Their attitudes towards the committee are positioned within a unique attitude matrix comprising ‘satisfaction vs trust’ variables (Figure 4.4). The matrix functions as follows: Satisfaction: decreases when NPCs experience negative effects from climate change and increases when those effects are limited. Trust: decreases when the player pursues adaptation against the character’s wishes and increases when player pursues adaptation options that align with the player’s wishes. As the game progresses, each NPC’s position in the matrix will shift, pushing them between four states: Adaptive: The NPC is satisfied with their situation but trusts the player to make decisions. Reactive: The NPC is dissatisfied with their situation but trusts the player to make decisions. Lethargic: The NPC is satisfied with their situation but does not trust the player to make decisions. Outraged: The NPC is dissatisfied with their situation but does not trust the player to make decisions. 18 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Figure 4.4: Attitude matrix that demonstrates how NPC attitudes towards the Seaview Climate Committee change. Each of these states corresponds with a point value, with ‘adaptive’ being the highest and ‘outraged’ being the lowest. Through these states the player receives an ‘approval rating’ which is calculated as the sum point values from NPC attitudes divided by the total possible points if all NPCs were in the adaptive state. If the player’s approval rating dips below a certain threshold, the player is removed from office and the game is over. The unique combination of the four capitals approach and the attitude matrix prompts players to consider a range of values and adaptation options, rather than making their decisions purely based on finances or scientific/engineering options alone. How players engage with the community, and the adaptation options chosen, influences subsequent NPC behaviour by shifting satisfaction with current conditions and trust in decision makers. 4.3 The financial and economic environment Each NPC contributes to the operating budget of the committee through rates (taxes). However, their contributions rely in their ability to make a living. NPCs that are not harmed by climate change can continue to contribute fully to taxes – and consequently to the committee’s adaptation fund – over time. By comparison, NPCs who are somewhat harmed by climate change 3 will only be able to contribute a portion of their usual amount; while NPCs that have been fully affected by climate change 4 cease to contribute to the tax base altogether. This is important as it means that poor or unsustainable investment choices by game players will result in losses to their tax base and impair their ability to serve the community (by protecting them from future harm). For example, an NPC with a shop located near the beach will be threatened if beach-going tourists are deterred by erosion, while they will be fully affected if the shop itself is flooded. 3 Defined as experiencing harm from negative events less than 3 times in a decade. 4 Defined as experiencing harm from negative events 3 or more times in a decade. “Adaptive Futures TM" 19
A financial and economic setting has been constructed for the game based around a plausible Aotearoa NZ community. The details associated with the plot and game mechanics are described in the following two subsections. 4.3.1 Background metrics Community profile Information from the 2013 national census of New Zealand was used to create a profile of the people in Seaview. The national average number of residents in a household and national proportions of men to women were used to generate the gender breakdown in the village. With 62 households in the village, 186 people exist in the village, of whom 94 are female and 92 are men. To consider the impact of climate change on families of different wealth, community households were broken down into lower income-, middle income- and higher income-earners. The ‘average’ profile of each household is presented in Table 4.2. Table 4.2: Average household. Value of possessions on Income per year House replacement cost premises Lower income 25000 65,000 12,500 Middle income 75000 130,000 25,000 Higher income 150000 250,000 50,000 Commercial profile The community contains a total of nine businesses, broken down into four types: large national chain outlets, medium size businesses, small to medium size businesses and small ‘Mom and Pop’ style outlets. The ‘average’ profile of each business is presented in Table 4.3. Based on these profiles, 63 staff are employed by the nine businesses. When all employees come from the village, over half of the village households rely on these jobs. Critically this also means that any harm to the businesses by over wash jeopardizes the food and income security of affected families. Table 4.3: Average business. Premises – Stock and Earnings per year Average staff replacement cost equipment Mom and Pop 0.30.52 million 12 450000 35000 4.3.2 Financial and economic considerations Exposure to disaster and potential impacts The value in the game of community assets at risk of climate change hazards (money, property/ possessions, business assets and family dwellings) are illustrative, being based loosely on estimates of building costs in a small coastal community. The potential impact of coastal hazards to business and families reflect financial impacts arising from: • Harm or destruction of assets. • Clean up costs (purchase of cleaning materials e.g., wheelbarrows, bleach, mops etc.). • Lost earnings (due to days of closed business). • Evacuation costs. 20 “Adaptive Futures TM"
• Property storage costs. The greater the impact on these items, the higher the costs of the disaster event become. The wider socioeconomic impacts of coastal hazards such as health, lost education and trauma have not been estimated for the game. Nevertheless, these issues are implied in programmed reactions by different stakeholder groups to gamer decisions. Cost of adaptation options Indicative costs to adapt to coastal hazards have been estimated for proactive impact-reducing investments such as the establishment of different scales of sea walls, beach nourishment and the relocation of roads, families and or businesses from hazardous areas. The costs of implementing these options were based on examples of similar investments made in Aotearoa NZ or elsewhere (Table 4.4). Table 4.4: Sources of cost data. Adaptation option Example Source Seawall 5m high seawall in French Polynesia Wilks (2013a b) Beach nourishment Bay of Plenty beach nourishment work Herbst et al. (2002) Relocation of road Cost of a new road with relevant cabling etc.,. in Federate States of Holland (2018) Micronesia In total, at least 14 separate adaptation options were initially identified 5, some of which could be targeted in combination with others (at the same time or in sequence). Of all possible options, the following seven adaptation options were selected and roughly costed for the game (see section 4.4 for details): 1. One-off nourishment of beach (lasts 10 years only). 2. Support householders in Relocation Zone A to move. 3. Support businesses in Relocation Zone A to move. 4. Support all households and businesses to relocate from Relocation Zone A. 5. One-off investment to establish a type 1 seawall (with no investment in maintenance). 6. One-off investment to establish and maintain a type 2 seawall (with no investment in maintenance). 7. Establish a type 1 seawall and upgrade it to a type 2 seawall after 10 years (no maintenance). 4.4 Adaptation options in the game Within the game the players have a range of adaptation options that they can choose to deploy at any time provided they can pay for it and they have engaged with stakeholders and iwi/hapū as required (see section 4.4.4 for details on this option). Each option will have a designated lifespan, achieve specific outcomes, and be associated with a series of advantages and disadvantages that will affect NPC satisfaction/trust levels and their ability to pay rates. The options are described in sections 4.4.1 – 4.4.5 below. 5 1 Beach nourishment; 2 Invest in the construct – but not maintenance of – seawall #1 (tolerating 0.3m or 50 years of sea level rise); 3 Invest in the construct – but not maintenance of – seawall #2 (tolerating 0.7m or over 100 years of sea level rise); 4 Construct Seawall #1 and upgrade to Seawall #2 after 10 years (but do not invest in ongoing maintenance of the seawall); 5 Invest in the construct and ongoing maintenance of Seawall #1 to remain efficient for 50 years; 6 Invest in the construct and ongoing maintenance of Seawall #2 to remain efficient for 50 years; 7 Establish Seawall #1 and upgrade to Seawall #2 after 10 years, maintaining its efficiency over a 50 year life; 8 Relocate homes from Relocation Zone A (around inundation area 1); 9 Relocate businesses from Relocation Zone A (around inundation area 1); 10 Relocate all households and businesses from Relocation Zone A; 11 Pump ponds each time there is over wash/ inundation; 12 Relocate homes from Relocation Zone B; 13 Relocate businesses from Relocation Zone B; 14 Relocate all households and businesses from Relocation Zone B. “Adaptive Futures TM" 21
4.4.1 Beach re-nourishment Beach re-nourishment is typically a popular option with community members. The details, benefits and limits are outlined in Table 4.5. Table 4.5: Description of the beach re-nourishment option. Description Beach re-nourishment is adding sand to the beach to replace that which was lost through erosion. Details Required volume of sand is 30,000 cubic metres of sand. Advantages It is perceived as a natural solution which maintains beach amenity and functionality. It is very popular with the public because it preserves the status quo, and in some cases improves it if the beach is in an eroded state. Potential It is important to note that suitable sand must be sourced for the re-nourishment process form issues elsewhere typically local sand mining operations or harbour dredging. Sand mining tends to be a continuous where it is extracted and opposition to sand extraction from the source location cost may rise over time as competition for sand increases. Sand is eroded during each storm so more than 4 storms in 10 years will result in a loss of all the sand present meaning that the player must further nourish the beach. Limits It is not permeant solution as continual replacement of sand is required to replace sand lost due to erosion events. Re nourishment will work until sea level reaches 0.3m above current at which point it will be removed from the list of options. Cost $50,000 per re-nourishment. 4.4.2 Seawalls Two seawall options are available to the player, a mid-sized wall (Figure 4.5) and a larger wall (Figure 4.6). The difference between the options is related to size, cost and longevity. Seawalls are popular adaptation options for landowners and business owners with property at risk, however they have clear benefits and costs associated with them (Table 4.6). Once a sea wall is installed the park and road behind the wall are re-instated. Table 4.6: Description of the sea wall (rock revetment) options. Description Sea wall (rock revetment) Details This sea wall is designed to protect against erosion and storms. It will run the length of the beach and look like a sloped surface covered with large rocks, or a vertical rock wall. Advantages Seawalls immediately stop erosion of the beach and the land behind the beach. They protect all the properties, business and infrastructure (roads etc.,) behind the wall. Potential issues It is important to note that sea walls impact the width and appearance of the beach. There will be no high tide beach and at low tide the beach will be narrower have a flat profile and remain damp (no dry sand). Beach amenity and use for locals and visitors are lost in favour of protecting homes, businesses community assets and infrastructure (roads drains etc.,) and parks. Sea walls have design limits and there remains a risk of major storms overtopping the wall and inundating the protected areas. In addition, repairs may be required after frequent storm events. The large sea wall will impact on views of the water from the recreation area. Limits Seawall has design limits which can be exceeded causing flooding issues behind the wall. As sea level over time increases it is likely that the risk of overtopping increases. The design limits of both the sea walls with respect to sea level rise are mid-sized wall 0.3m of SLR, while the large wall will fail after 0.7m of SLR. Cost Smaller seawalls cost $100,000, larger sea wall $200,000 Requires on-going maintenance. 22 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Figure 4.5: The mid-sized sea wall option (Credit Monica Pooley). Figure 4.6: The high sea wall option (Credit Monica Pooley). “Adaptive Futures TM" 23
4.4.3 Managed Retreat Managed retreat, sometime called managed realignment, involves moving community and private assets away from at risk locations (e.g., moving the front row of homes and business away from the water) (Owens at al. 2018). The player can choose between two stages of retreat involving different varying numbers of property and therefore different costs and impacts. The first relocation (Figure 4.7) involves shifting the shops and the first two rows of town houses behind the existing township, adding additional roading and infrastructure, reshaping the shoreline into a new beach and playgrounds facilities. A second relocation involves moving the remaining beachfront townhouses and the motel complex coupled with a reshaping of the beach and foreshore recreation area (Figure 4.8). Both relocations cost $300,000 each. Once both relocations are complete the community is no longer at risk from sea level rise or storm related inundation. However, the community can only be relocated if the non-player characters agree and have been consulted. Figure 4.7: Relocation 1 – Relocation of the front row of town houses, road and shops has allowed for the recreation of a beach and foreshore recreation space (Credit Monica Pooley). 24 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Figure 4.8: Relocation 2 – Relocation of the remaining beach front townhouses and the motel complex coupled with a reshaping of the beach and foreshore recreation (Credit Monica Pooley). 4.4.4 Engaging with the community A unique feature of the game is its reminder to players of the need to consult with communities on key changes. In Aotearoa NZ, the Resource Management Act (1991) sets out how councils make decisions about activities affecting the environment. This includes major developments such as the development of new housing estates or – in the case of Adaptative Futures – the potential relocation of communities and/or businesses. This is further supported in the Ministry for the Environment guidance Coastal Hazards and Climate Change: Guidance for Local Government 2017 (Bell et al. 2017). Adaptative Futures requires players to spend at least one turn consulting with the community – hosting a public forum – if they seek to relocate either residents or businesses away from coastal hazards such as inundation or erosion. When a player chooses the consultation option, a number of NPCs will attend the meeting and voice their interests. Consultation has the effect of building trust with attending NPCs through a turn, which can potentially stave off a no-confidence vote. The likelihood that an NPC will attend a forum depends on both the disposition of the character and the passage of time. Consultation with certain “Adaptive Futures TM" 25
blocs of NPCs is also necessary in order to proceed with the relocation of residents and businesses and costs $50,000. 4.4.5 Do nothing option The decision to do nothing is both an active choice and a result of an inability to finance another preferred option. However, not acting will have consequences as the sea level rises as illustrated in the following sequence of diagrams depicting the erosion of the foreshore (Figure 4.9). Figure 4.9: Erosion of the foreshore if no actions are taken A) Loss of the beach B) Loss of the recreation reserve C) Loss of the road D) Erosion of shops and motel (Credit Monica Pooley). A) Loss of the beach B) Loss of the recreation reserve C) Loss of the road D) Erosion of shops and courtyard 26 “Adaptive Futures TM"
E ) Loss of the shops and motel 4.4.6 Lifespans of the options as linked to sea level rise Each adaption option has a life span with is linked to the sea level (Table 4.7). As the limit is approached the option will begin to fail; how fast this occurs in the game depends on what climate change scenario is randomly selected at the start of the game. Table 4.7: Lifespan of adaptation options with respect to sea level rise. Adaptation option Efficacy limit with respect to sea level rise (lifespan) Beach re-nourishment 0.3 m Sea wall mid-sized 0.3m Sea wall large 0.7m 4.4.7 Other alternatives – considered but discarded Early development of the game considered a much wider set of strategies, including the pumping of flooded areas, adding in dune replanting options and other protective use of natural vegetation, upgrading of small beach walls to more structurally robust ones, and the maintenance of existing structures. However, these were eventually excluded, as it became apparent through trialling and testing that very similar dialogue over climate change and its implications could be achieved using a game with a select number of key adaptation options. In short, other options complicated the game for no discernible educational gain. If necessary, the game code can be altered to add options to suit other situations. Access to insurance and the ability to obtain additional finance (e.g., bank loans) have not been included within the game structure to avoid over complicating the game. However, these can be discussed and highlighted through post game conversations. “Adaptive Futures TM" 27
5 Evaluating game outcomes As the game design has evolved it has been tested with colleagues, key stakeholders and students. Three types of learning, and ways to evaluate learning, have been reported in the wider game evaluation literature (Table 5.1). Our methods for testing and evaluating the game are described in following subsection. Table 5.1: Learning effects associated with serious games. Type of learning Definition indicators of learning effects Measures of indicators Cognitive learning Acquire new knowledge Test score, changes in centrality and Restructuring of existing knowledge specificity of knowledge presented in concept maps Normative learning Changes in norms, change in values change Change in and convergence around in paradigm convergence of group opinion environmental beliefs participant reflections meeting notes Relational learning Improved understanding of the mindset of Change in social network structure others, building of relationships enhanced Participant reflections. trust and co-operation. 5.1 Methods Evaluation occurred throughout the game design and testing process through pre-game and post- game questions and more general one-on-one or group discussions (see Appendix B for details). An early stage evaluation of game play was undertaken at the New Zealand Coastal Society Conference in Gisborne, Aotearoa NZ in November 2018. This early prototype testing allowed us to obtain feedback on game development from a knowledgeable expert group. The version of the game that we tested with this group included sea level rise trajectories, adaptation options, three characters, decision-maker popularity score and rudimentary financial details regarding expenses and income. Human ethics approval was granted by the NIWA Human Ethics Application Process prior to field testing. Researchers offered conference participants the opportunity to play the game on a tablet during conference breaks. Game play took approximately 10-15 minutes for one or two rounds of play. Prior to testing, an evaluation plan (adapted from Baird & Plummer 2014; Baird et al. 2016; Armitage et al. 2018) was created to assess the impact of the game on individual participants and groups. The evaluation includes an introductory script and several question variants that can be tailored to suit different contexts and/or players. After being read the introductory script and agreeing to proceed with game testing, 20 volunteer players tried the game and then provided verbal feedback on their experience and suggestions for improvement. Players represented a cross section of coastal-focused council staff, practitioners, researchers and students. The game was further developed based on feedback from this initial round of testing, plus several more informal testing sessions with both experts and non-experts in coastal adaptation planning. In September 2019, a second round of formal testing was conducted with a group of approximately 60 planning students from Waikato University. These participants were more representative of our target audience (e.g., expert decision makers, students, the wider public). The version of the game that we tested with this group included sea level rise trajectories, adaptation options, six NPCs, a decision maker popularity score, the capacity for the decision maker to be voted out of office, the capacity to consult with NPS, financial details regarding expenses and income, and improved visuals throughout the game. 28 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Pre-arranged groups of 2-4 people played several rounds of the game (approximately 30 minutes play time total) on shared computers or tablets. Players discussed their responses and approaches as a group. Some of the groups completed online pre- and post- game questionnaires, but these were voluntary and not all groups chose to complete them. Players participated in a de-brief discussion and several groups completed and returned a voluntary written reflection form after playing the game. Finally, an email with links to the game associated pre- and post- game questionnaires (Appendix B) were sent to 20 potential participants who are not coastal or climate experts and represent the ‘wider public’ target audience. The pre-game questionnaire consisted of two participant background questions and five Likert-scale questions. The post-game questionnaire included four optional qualitative write-in questions in addition to the same five Likert-scale questions. Participants could not respond to the post-game survey until they completed at least one round of game play. Eight participants responded to both the pre- and post- game surveys. Qualitative game play results and participant observations were evaluated against a learning and outcomes framework based on Armitage et al. (2018) (Figure 5.1). This framework assesses the enabling conditions that are required to promote two individual-scale learning effects – cognitive learning and relational learning – and then goes on to connect this learning (where possible) to either process or substantive outcomes. This typology of learning effects is adapted from previous studies that focus on cognitive, relational and normative learning (see Table 4.1, and Munaretto & Huitema 2012; Baird et al. 2014; Baird et al. 2016) in similar collaborative governance contexts. In line with this literature, cognitive learning is defined here as changes in understanding of social and/or ecological conditions, relational learning as changes in perceptions of others in regards to efforts to learn together (e.g., levels of cooperation, trust), and normative learning as changes in participants' perceptions of the overall benefits of interactions reflected in shifts in values or a convergence of views (see Munaretto & Huitema 2012; Baird et al. 2014; Armitage et al. 2018). However, several previous studies attempting to measure normative effects have met with limited success (Munaretto & Huitema 2012; Haug et al. 2011; Baird et al. 2014; Armitage et al. 2018) and therefore we have left this component out of our current analysis. “Adaptive Futures TM" 29
Figure 5.1: General evaluation framework to assess learning and adaptability outcomes. Adapted from Armitage et al. 2018. In our study, the activities are game play, and the collaborative qualities are built into the game (e.g., consultation with stakeholders). However, the collaborative qualities can be further enhanced by employing facilitation techniques. We follow Armitage et al. (2018) in ascribing an operational definition of outcome that incorporates both process and substantive components. Outcomes are therefore measured either through perceptions of players (e.g., perceptions that game play has led to better decision-making – a process outcome) or directly (e.g., winning the game or improving game score – a substantive outcome). 5.2 Results The response to the Adaptive Futures game from the initial test sample (November 2018) was overall very positive in terms of the outcomes that the game is aiming to achieve. All players felt the game would be a valuable tool to engage and teach a range of audiences about coastal adaptation strategies. Players reported liking the concept of a serious game and feeling that it was an appropriate learning and engagement tool. Many players became engrossed in the game themselves, describing their choices as difficult to make and agonising over how to balance the interests of the different NPCs. Many players reported cognitive changes resulting from the game, saying that it made them think about the consequences of climate change in more concrete ways. For example, one player pointed out that "The moral of the story is - relocate as soon as you can." Several players also commented on early stage relational changes that resulted from game play, describing their wish to hear more from NPC’s, and how they wanted more opportunities to interact with these characters. No substantive changes were reported by players, but this is not surprising given the short amount of time allocated for game play. Some players were able to make it to the very end of the game without being voted out of office, but all reported low popularity scores at the end of the game. 30 “Adaptive Futures TM"
Several players reported process changes resulting from game play. For example, one player admitted that "I would make different decisions if I did it again - do nothing for a while and save money for re-nourishment and relocation." Another player commented as game play was proceeding that: “This is stressful! I’m just going to install a higher wall to make the people happy.” But then at the end of the game, the same player admitted that “In hindsight, I shouldn’t have spent all my money at the start on a wall.” In these cases, the game clearly facilitated experimentation with robust management strategies that are applicable to a range of climate change scenarios. The response to the Adaptive Futures game from the second test sample (September 2019) was also positive in terms of engagement and teaching coastal adaptation strategies, although the students mostly felt that the game would be better targeted towards community members who were unlikely to have much formal education about the effects of sea level rise. All students who completed a pre- game survey reported that they were at least somewhat familiar with the effects of sea level rise in Aotearoa NZ, with the majority of students reporting that they were at least moderately familiar with these effects prior to playing the game. Despite this familiarity with the topic, one area showed distinctive changes in student beliefs about sea level rise between the pre- and post- game survey responses. In the pre-game survey, all participants either agreed, somewhat agreed, or were neutral when asked if sea level rise will happen slowly enough for NZ coastal communities to adapt. However, in the post-game survey, all participants shifted their opinions to the other end of the spectrum, and either disagreed or somewhat disagreed with the same statement. This result indicates that for at least the students who completed the pre- and post- game questionnaires, cognitive changes occurred because of game play. The qualitative reflections shared by students on the written evaluation form at the end of the game play and de-brief discussion, and also on the post-game survey, indicate that the majority of students also experienced relational changes as a result of game play. Several students wrote that they learned how difficult it could be to make coastal communities happy with climate change adaptation decisions (see also Adger 2016). Others described this social component of the game as the most challenging part of the experience. All student players indicated that they were able to succeed at the game to some extent (by not being voted out of office for at least 30 years - although most of the groups made it to at least 60 years into the future, out of a total 100 possible), but they also described ways that they played the game differently after their first attempt. This indicates that the game encouraged process changes in players; players considered and experimented with a range of adaptation strategies, rather than sticking to a single approach to ‘win’ the game. The small data set collected from the email questionnaires (eight viable pre- and post- questionnaires) provided some additional data supporting the idea that participants learned from game play. Although there were not many respondents, overall the findings aligned with much of the data collected from other test groups. In the pre-game questionnaire, participants were evenly split between describing themselves as somewhat familiar or moderately familiar with the effects of sea level rise in Aotearoa NZ. But despite this self-described familiarity, six out of the eight participants changed their opinions on whether sea level rise will happen slowly enough for NZ coastal communities to adapt after playing the game, although importantly not all participants changed their opinions in the same direction. After game play, four participants more strongly disagreed with this idea, while two more strongly agreed. Two participants did not change their opinions on this topic from before to after the game. This result indicates that more than half of the participants who completed the pre- and post- game questionnaires reported cognitive changes because of game play. “Adaptive Futures TM" 31
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