Exploring Serious Games

Water managers are increasingly involved in the development of sustainable residential districts and new building projects. Recent examples include Superlocal (Kerkrade, WML) and Brainport Smart District (Helmond, Brabant Water). Innovative water technologies play a key part in achieving these projects’ sustainability goals, such as water reuse, resource recovery, rainwater harvesting and decentralised (drinking) water production. The development of the associated plans frequently involves the organisation of a co-creation process with organisations outside the water sector (municipalities, regional governments, project developers, housing associations) as well as citizens. The process requires the input of technical expertise in the areas of water treatment, water distribution and hydrology, but also concerning the socio-economic and governance aspects. The collection and easy accessibility of this knowledge supports the co-creation process teams in making choices and assessing their impact.

Serious Games

Serious games are forms of games in which the players, individually and collectively, attempt to achieve a particular objective. They are given a limited number of courses of action, which they can pursue collaboratively (or competitively). The goal of a serious game can be to have people, in a playful context, develop experience or gain insight into issues which they deal with in their professional work.

Project objective

This exploratory research is developing an alpha version of a serious game, for the purpose of supporting co-creation processes in the development of sustainable, integrated water cycles for new residential districts. It will allow municipalities, provinces, Water Authorities, drinking water utilities and project developers to explore different design options for sustainable water cycles. This will clarify and underpin the possible choices for the development of sustainable districts. The project combines KWR’s knowledge of integrated water cycles, sustainable concepts for residential districts and co-creation, with the development of new expertise and experience in the area of (digital) serious gaming.