Doug Maynard
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I am working with a colleague at another college on a research project investigating how different types of indices for progress might affect the decisions that people make. For example, many nations use something like Gross National Product (GNP) which is based upon mostly economic information presumed to be of value for a capitalist society (e.g., high levels of employment, wages/business income/profit, investment, production and exportation/consumption). Alternative indicators include Redefining Progress's Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) or Bhutan's Gross National Happiness which tend to focus more on factors such as psychological and physical health, community, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability. While there are groups who strongly favor one type of indicator or another, we know little about the extent to which people (e.g., policy makers, citizens) might act differently when provided with one set of information versus the other.

Before we go and design something ourselves, does anyone know of a game or simulation where players make resource allocation decisions or other choices, based upon such types of information? If it doesn't perfectly fit the kinds of information listed above, that might be OK since we might be able to modify it for our research purposes. The game could be at any of several levels - such as the family level, community level and so on - it wouldn't have to be at the national level necessarily. Finally, we are open to either a tabletop or digital game, so if you know of a digital game that would work well, we're interested in that too.

Even if there's nothing out there that quite fits this bill, we would be interested in exploring related games that might stimulate our thinking.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

~Doug
 
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Chris Thompson
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Rise and Decline of the Third Reich uses GDP or some sort of indicator...but it mainly effects how many tanks you can build!devil
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Moe45673
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3 videogames come to mind when thinking of intangible butterfly effects like you ask for.

The Tropico series of videogames are exactly about this kind of thing. It's a citybuilder and has the theme of a Banana Republic with lots of tongue in cheek humor, but is great. While it has the typical citybuilding stuff of building farms, roads, factories, etc, each citizen in the game is tracked with needs, happiness levels, employment, etc. Each citizen belongs to 1 of about 10 factions and you can view how happy each faction is with you (Loyalists might want you to build a Childhood Museum to display your greatness to the people, whereas the Religious would want a Cathedral and will get upset if you enact the Gay Marriage edict). There's also the US and USSR to keep happy, one wants you to be more capitalist (among other things, like a free press) and one wants you to be more communist. You lose either when you get assassinated or you lose an election (you can abolish elections but a lot of factions won't be too pleased!)

The game Democracy 3 does similar things but is solely about Politics. The game is all interconnected bars and charts like this:




Trevor Chan's Capitalism II is about creating a business, marketing and advertising, distribution of products, globalization, all that stuff. Some of the factors are again based off what the people want.


Market boardgames where the players drive the price seem to be the best, to me, at this type of unpredictable neck-above-water kind of games. Wealth of Nations, Container, 18xx, Planet Steam.... You could also look at victory points in Euro games as this kind of thing too. Generally, VPs are arbitrary things you try to get that don't actually enhance the engine you've built (ie you can't spend them or use them to make something else better). They usually are meant to represent influence or respect generated

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has varying levels of different things, including employment (especially relating to population), that affect game play. Worth looking at.
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Doug Maynard
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Thanks everyone for these initial suggestions! We will take a look at each.

For a video game, it would probably have to have sufficient flexibility for us to set which information they had access to - I'm guessing most do not. For a board game, it would be possible for us to take something and alter the content/design to fit what we're after in our study.

Looking forward to checking these out - and thanks again for these and any future recommendations.
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Doug Maynard
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Any other suggestions for us to check out, folks? Thanks!
 
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Paulo Eusebio
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What a cool and timely idea for a board game! The closest I have seen to what you are aiming for is Vital Lacerda's CO₂. It deals with aspects of environmental economics and sustainable energy production but does not delve into all GPI type measures. Still, it is a good start and it happens to be a great game.

Is there a way to keep abreast of your progress on this? I am very interested.

Good luck!
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Doug Maynard
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Bondgoldfinger wrote:
What a cool and timely idea for a board game! The closest I have seen to what you are aiming for is Vital Lacerda's CO₂. It deals with aspects of environmental economics and sustainable energy production but does not delve into all GPI type measures. Still, it is a good start and it happens to be a great game.

Is there a way to keep abreast of your progress on this? I am very interested.

Good luck!


Thanks for the suggestion! We'll check CO2 out. As for staying informed of our progress, this is super early days for us, but if you GeekMail me we can keep you on a list of folks who've expressed interest in the project.
 
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prog_frog wrote:
Thanks everyone for these initial suggestions! We will take a look at each.

For a video game, it would probably have to have sufficient flexibility for us to set which information they had access to - I'm guessing most do not. For a board game, it would be possible for us to take something and alter the content/design to fit what we're after in our study.

Just a note that Democracy 3 does allow modding. I'm not sure if it's enough for your purposes, but you can read more about it the developer's website http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy3/modding.html

The other video games mentioned might also have modding, but I just looked this one up because I'm the most familiar with it (and knowing the developer I assumed there would be modding )
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Doug Maynard
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Mashpotassium wrote:
Just a note that Democracy 3 does allow modding. I'm not sure if it's enough for your purposes, but you can read more about it the developer's website http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy3/modding.html


This is super-helpful, thank you! Seems like potentially our best lead.
 
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