Integrated, ecosystem-based marine spatial planning: design and results of a game-based quasi-experiment.

IS Mayer, Q. Zhou, J Lo, L Abspoel, X Keijser, E Olsen, E Nixon, A Kannen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The authors analyse the complexity of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and explore the role that simulation gaming (SG) could play in addressing it. They present the set-up of and insights from a game-based, quasi-experimental study and policy intervention involving MSP. The simulation game MSP Challenge 2011 was played in Lisbon on 3 November 2011 by 68 international MSP professionals - mainly scientists, policy advisers and marine spatial planners - from 16 countries. Data on MSP in the various countries, as well as on the effectiveness of the policy intervention, were collected using pre-game, in-game and post-game questionnaires, combined with the analysis of MSP processes and outcomes in a digital map tool and observations. The analysis shows that MSP lends itself to comparative assessment in real and simulated environments. Observed variety and changes in the game-based intervention provide evidence that the participants engaged in experimentation with different strategies, policy change and policy-oriented learning. The game-based intervention proved an effective and promising method for national/international experimentation and exchange among professional MSP planners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-26
Number of pages20
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Issue numberSeptember
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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