Serious Game


SIM4NEXUS is developing a Serious Game. The Serious Game is a computer game that will aid learning about the Nexus by helping users to understand and explore the interactions between water, energy, land and food resources management (so called “nexus components”), divide the problem into manageable interventions, and allows participant to learn by doing.

The SIM4NEXUS game will enable players to implement policies in a game play environment and explore how policies impact on different nexus components. Policies will be implemented using policy cards, which combine summary information about policy actions, costs and potential benefits with an element of strategic intrigue. The cost information facilitates scorekeeping according to both financial and social capital metrics. Costs are tallied against benefits, which are revealed as game play progresses. This allows a player to measure progress and compare to others.

The game includes a strategy map that facilitates comparison of policy impacts in different regions, a tech-tree that allows users to make decisions regarding investment into certain technologies, a virtual card table in which policy cards can be applied through a drag-and-drop interface, and a visualization system that shows the impacts of users’ decisions on the model.

Underlying the Serious Game are system dynamics models that are used to simulate policy impacts on different nexus components, and at regional scales. The link to system dynamics modeling ensures a sound science basis and adds to the realism of the game.

The Serious Game will be tested using ten case studies, each covering a different geographic region in Europe. Two further games at European and global scales will also be developed for demonstration and educational purposes. The ultimate goal of game development is to create a fun and interactive pedagogical tool that will continue to be used in research, educational settings and management after the conclusion of SIM4NEXUS.

Here you can see the components of the SIM4NEXUS Serious Game for the Greek case study. With the right mouse click you can activate any of the regions, and see detailed data for each of the Nexus sectors, as well as the policy cards. Please note that numerical values are only indicative, and the Serious Game is still under development.

You can find a short demo-video on YouTube:

Some tips on how to navigate through the game:

Controls are all with the mouse:

- right click and drag to pan

- use mouse wheel to zoom in / zoom out (or scroll function if you have a touch pad)

- click on a region square on the left part to select a region and update the display

- click on a card to see its impact on the model tree

- drag and drop a card in the gant chart area entitled "state of play" to apply a policy and click on "End Turn" button at the top to update model accordingly and see results.

- click on top buttons in the white area entitled "Results for: ..."   to change display - to horizon graphs.

- click on individual graphs in the white area entitled "Results for: ..." when they have "children" data to explore them. Click on the return arrow to return to the top variables...


Summary of the Resource Nexus Policy & Cluster Workshop on 27th November in Brussels


Second stakeholder workshop in the Andalusian Case Study


Maria P. Papadopoulou (UTH) speaks on modelling and S4N serious game at University of Exeter's Seminar Series