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The Joint Use of Role-Playing Games and Models Regarding Negotiation Processes: Characterization of Associations


  • Olivier Barreteau



Role-Playing Games (RPG) and computerized models are old and new Information and Communication Technique (ICT) tools aiming at providing support for analysis and support for negotiation processes. As learning tools RPG aim at providing either players or game organizers with better knowledge of a given situation. They thus constitute social learning support tools. Computerized models in negotiation processes aim at simulating either the negotiation itself so as to better handle the process, or the evolution of stakes to broaden the discussion. Each of these tools has already been used on its own but each has its limits. When used jointly, at least one of them constitutes a ?like society? about which scientists and/or stakeholders can think over. This paper focuses on the interactions between both kinds of tools when dealing with negotiation issues, and is based on experiments presented in the thematic session about ?role-playing games, models and negotiation? held at the Ecological Economics conference in Sousse, Tunisia, in March 2002. They are analyzed and compared with a post normal posture on negotiation processes. The post normal version of a model as a scientific tool involves opening an axis [conceptual model, controlled experiment] to include a third pole: observed reality. This is a means of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of the systems at stake, by involving the various viewpoints concerning the system. RPG are a good tool for introducing this third pole, while computerized models considerably ease their use and design. Thus, each joint use experiment is presented as a path within this triplet. Two main categories of joint use have been identified: mutual support in use and mutual support in design and analysis. In the first category, both tools are used simultaneously with different underlying conceptual models. In the second category, both tools are used one after the other and have the same underlying conceptual model. Practically speaking, the joint use of RPG and computerized models can be considered as a craft. The artisan nature of tools as well as of their methodology of use is coherent with the artisan nature of consensus building processes. Not all joint use experiments allow standardized tools and methodology to be built. However, some guidelines can be formulated for the building of suitable mediating objects for a post normal approach to negotiation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Barreteau, 2003. "The Joint Use of Role-Playing Games and Models Regarding Negotiation Processes: Characterization of Associations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(2), pages 1-3.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2003-10-1

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    Cited by:

    1. O. Barreteau & G. Abrami, 2007. "Variable time scales, agent-based models, and role-playing games: The PIEPLUE river basin management game," Post-Print hal-00453892, HAL.
    2. Olivier GODARD, 2004. "Autour Des Conflits A Dimension Environnement Ale. Evaluation Economique Et Coordination Dans Un Monde Complexe," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 47, pages 127-153.
    3. Washington-Ottombre, C. & Pijanowski, B. & Campbell, D. & Olson, J. & Maitima, J. & Musili, A. & Kibaki, T. & Kaburu, H. & Hayombe, P. & Owango, E. & Irigia, B. & Gichere, S. & Mwangi, A., 2010. "Using a role-playing game to inform the development of land-use models for the study of a complex socio-ecological system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 117-126, March.
    4. Diana Adamatti & Jaime Simão Sichman & Helder Coelho, 2009. "An Analysis of the Insertion of Virtual Players in GMABS Methodology Using the Vip-JogoMan Prototype," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 12(3), pages 1-7.


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