Games about uncertainty and decision making

Gaming for better decisions under uncertainty is a project with the goal to develop a game that motivates people to learn about uncertainty analysis and decision making in an entertaining way. The idea was to use a game environment to explain the benefits of expressing uncertainty when making predictions and possible ways to make decisions under uncertainty.

The goal has been achieved. A group of experts have met and identified the content for the game. Three modules cover tasks related to expressing and understanding uncertainty using prediction and decision problems from daily life that players can relate to. The modules has been documented and populated with several short games/apps which is available online.

The fourth module cover fictional game scenario that involves decision making under climate uncertainty, where there is a need to consider the balance between social, economic, and environmental impacts. Multi criteria decision analysis without and with uncertainty is demonstrated on a climate mitigation decision problem on choosing a bus technology. The concepts resilience and robustness to uncertainty is illustrated on a climate adaptation decision problem related to flood management.

The prototypes have been tested on independent test persons. The project has identified several ideas and needs of further development of existing and new game prototypes. A conclusion is that existing initiatives to train experts in expressing and understanding uncertainty can benefit from gamification to gain more interest. A continuation can help to better link to these. There is also a high value in developing the case-studies on climate decision problems under uncertainty further so they can better serve societal decision makers. We conclude that the output from this project can serve as a start for such development closer to decision makers and stakeholders.

The project has been externally evaluated by the Assessment and Methodological Support Unit at EFSA, who conclude that games like this stimulating learning by scientific experts would be useful for organisations working with scientific assessments.

Gamification provide new means of communicating science and it has been both challenging and rewarding to put together games that are entertaining but with a clear goal to introduce a theory or concept. Several needs and ideas for future developments has been identified.

This project has been reported. Here follows different links to our reporting. Further info – turn to Ullrika Sahlin

Project web page:

Project duration Oct-Dec 2017

Financed by Climate-KIC Nordic and co-financed by Formas project Scaling up uncertain evidence.

Project Performance Report 2017 

Final Report

ShinyR code can be found here:

The playeish type of games are found here

Check them out!

BeanGuesser_video from Ullrika Sahlin on Vimeo.

FrequencyGuesser_video from Ullrika Sahlin on Vimeo.

ProbabilityBee_video from Ullrika Sahlin on Vimeo.

Quiztimate_video from Ullrika Sahlin on Vimeo.

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