All posts by Giuliano Andrea Pagani

Game group – Call for papers – 3rd GSS conference preparatory meeting

3rd GSS call for paper: Gaming group


Games and the act of playing is innate with human beings, they are global and universal across countries and cultures. We think that games can also be useful vehicles for Global Systems Science as, among others:

  • Tools for training and education,
  • Tools for communication of scientific results (i.e., vehicles for creating narratives),
  • Tools for behavioral experiments,
  • Tools for decision makers,
  • Enablers of citizen participation, or
  • Vehicles for finding crowd-sourced solutions.


In the GSS context, we use the term game to denote both computer/phone applications and more traditional forms of participatory entertainment (e.g., board games). Computer games may have the advantage of being scalable (potentially even at the national or global scale), easy to distribute and easy in the collection of results, but more the traditional types of games provide basic face-to-face interactions and the physical involvement that may help people to make personal commitments.


A gamification approach to problem solving and modeling is an appealing solution to understand people’s behavior, to understand dynamics in social contexts and to develop shared solutions to shared problems that can bring a more effective way to working with complex social systems.


The 3rd GSS conference calls for contributions in different dimensions of the gaming world. We call for paper contributions on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Tools, platforms and frameworks for GSS games
  • Challenges for GSS games (e.g., scaling, language issues, distribution and marketing, take-on, etc.)
  • Methods and insights about the “gamification” of existing scientific results, models and simulations
  • Success stories and lessons learned from GSS simulations
  • Social impacts of gamification (ethical or cultural dimensions)


The conference will also organize a live demo session where conference participants can play existing GSS games. Therefore, we also call for the submission of existing GSS games (in all forms and all domains, related to the GSS themes).



(To be provided by Nils)


K. Arai, H. Deguchi, H. Matsui (eds): Agent-Based Modeling Meets Gaming Simulation, Springer Series on Agent Based Social Systems, Volume 2, 2005.


Guyot, Paul and Honiden, Shinichi (2006). ‘Agent-Based Participatory Simulations: Merging Multi-Agent Systems and Role-Playing Games’. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9(4)8 <>.


Colella, V. 2002. “Participatory Simulations: Building Collaborative Understanding Through Immersive Dynamic Modeling.” InCSCL2: Carrying forward the conversation, eds. T. Koschmann, R. Hall, and N. Miyake. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.



Report game group – 3rd GSS preparatory meeting

GSS Preparatory Meeting on October 29 2013 – Report on Working Group Session on Games for GSS

Games and the act of playing is one of those things that are innate with human beings, they are structural and universal, a real global thing. Therefore, the group considers games in general and not only computer games as an important topic to be considered for the conference. On one side computer games have the advantage of being scalable, easy to distribute and easy in the collection of results, on the other side the traditional types of games (e.g., board games) provide the basic face-to-face interactions and the physical movement of resources on the board; the physical dimension may also be essential for games.

The realization of a game might have several purposes considered by the game designer. Some examples are as follows: motivating and involving participants (i.e., citizens), informing about the complexities of a problem, creating narratives for the citizens, help creating strategies, or create a shared compromise, but it may also be a vehicle for learning about the true behavior of people.

These objectives can be considered alone, but most likely the creator of the game has several of them in mind. For example, a game was organized in the city of Portland, OR, to find the consensus on the location of a recycling facility. Also at company level real games\challenges\competitions with real resources are being tested. Further application examples are welcome for the conference.

Considering the computer implementation aspects, games for the GSS kind of purpose do not have to be complex or as resource demanding as the modern computer games. The group considers that simple graphics is sufficient and maybe it is better a simple game co-created with potential participants than a graphic intense game but lacking content and challenges for the user. Nonetheless, tools and methods to create GSS games are among the topics invited for the conference. The creation of a sort of GSS game platform, where GSS scientists have a easy-to-develop solution and can easily develop plug-ins to be connected in the platform creating specific games, is a long-term plan.

The group thinks that in order to achieve the best results in term of publication and audience, the GSS scientists interested in games should partner with the experts of other relevant fields. For example, Simulation and Gaming is an established community since the 70s with conferences and scientific journal in place (Simulation & Gaming journal). Similarly, Behavioral Economics uses tools and techniques that have much to share with GSS games.

The group thinks that one of the major challenges in creating a GSS game is the “gamification” process that converts a (scientific) model into something that is fun t play with. Also the games contain by definition the concept of uncertainty that usually in the models is hardly taken into account or it is considered in a kind of artificial manner (especially in the financial context).

Considering the conference the work group considers:
- a traditional paper session
- a demo session where participants can play games that were submitted to the conference on site
- a collective game could be played/developed throughout the conference

There is a natural interplay between GSS gaming and GSS experimentation. Whether those should be considered independently for the conference or in a joint session, needs further considerations.