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Cirad

Who wants to terminate the game? The role of vested interests and metaplayers in the ATOLLGAME experience

Dray A., Perez P., Le Page C., D'Aquino P., White I.M.. 2007. Simulation and Gaming, 38 (4) : p. 494-511.

DOI: 10.1177/1046878107300673

Low coral islands are heavily dependent on groundwater for freshwater supplies. The declaration by the government of Kiribati of water reserves over privately owned land has led to conflicts, illegal settlements, and vandalism. Also, the water consumption tends to increase toward Western-like standards, and human pollution has already contaminated most freshwater lenses. This project aims to provide relevant information to local stakeholders to facilitate dialogue and devise sustainable water management practices. A computer-assisted role-playing game is implemented to fulfill this aim. The following three-stage methodology is applied: collecting local and expert knowledge, blending the di ferent viewpoints into a game-based model, and playing the game with the di ferent stakeholders to explore di ferent scenarios. Although game sessions delivered successful outcomes, the final stage of the project is characterized by the upheaval of contradictory government stands that undermine the whole process. It is argued that heterogeneous viewpoints may be handled in a satisfactory manner during the gaming sessions but that long-term hidden agendas may override the outcomes. Beyond the inherent question of legitimacy attached to such approaches, some players clearly must deal with constraints that are often genuinely considered external to the ongoing negotiation process.

Mots-clés : atoll; gestion des eaux; bilan hydrique; logiciel; méthodologie; système d'aide à la décision; hydrogéologie; eau souterraine; approches participatives; jeu de role; recherche participative

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