Marine Spatial Planning Challenge 2050: An exploratory look at the potential and uses of advanced ICT for MSP.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) aims at helping to establish coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas, for which cooperation on planning across borders and boundaries is essential. It is important to ensure the participation of diverse stakeholder groups in these planning processes. These processes are about planning human activities in order to ensure their efficiency and sustainability, and involve stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities. Marine Spatial Planning Challenge 2050 is a serious game simulation that has been initiated in 2011 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and an executive agency called Rijkswaterstaat in the Netherlands. As part of this study, a 2-day MSP experiment was organized involving master students from Memorial University and McGill University, as well as various stakeholders from the Newfoundland area involved in MSP activities. This game experiment consisted of a board game that the participants played during the beginning of the event, followed by a computer supported face-to-face role play, moderated by a moderating team. Participants were split into five teams of 4-5 people who each took on diverse MSP roles within their teams. Interactions within and between these teams were video recorded to allow for an interaction analysis. This interaction analysis involves an empirical investigation of human-to-human and human-environment interactions, while paying close attention to verbal, as well as non-verbal interactions, and also to the use of artifacts and technology. Before, during and after-the-game surveys were sent out to participants to collect more details on their backgrounds, individual and collective game experiences and interactions. A social network analysis is conducted to support the measurement and visualization of connections and relations between participants to better understand the dynamics that either hindered or facilitated collaboration during the game experiment. This study provides a greater insight into the potential of serious game simulations, such as the MSP Challenge 2050, to increase participants’ understanding of MSP while enhancing interactions and connections between participants over the course of the game experiment.