Gaming the future of the ocean: the marine spatial planning challenge 2050

IS Mayer, Q. Zhou, X Keijser, L Abspoel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The authors present and discuss the conceptual and technical design of the game Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Challenge 2050, developed with and for the Netherlands’ ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. The main question in this paper is: What constitutes the socio-technical complexity of marine areas and how can it be translated into a simulation model for serious game-play with marine spatial planners? MSP Challenge 2050 was launched in March 2014 in a two day session with twenty marine planners from six countries. It aims to initiate and support MSP in the various Atlantic regions by bringing policy-makers, stakeholders, scientists together in a ‘playful’ but realistic and meaningful environment. In the North Sea edition of the game, six countries make and implement plans for this sea basin over a period of 35 years, with cumulative effects of their sectoral and national decisions emerging. The authors conclude that the combined and iterative use of complexity modelling and gaming is effective from the perspectives of design (development of a MSP model), research (insight acquired on MSP) and policy (policy-oriented learning and analysis for MSP). Further development and global dissemination of MSP Challenge 2050, as well as research and data collection, is foreseen.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSerious Games Development and Applications - 5th International Conference, SGDA 2014, Proceedings
EditorsM Ma, MF Oliveira, J Baalsrud Hauge
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319116228
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


  • Complexity
  • Design
  • Global system science
  • Integrated planning
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Policy game
  • Serious game
  • Simulation-game


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