Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: A Guidebook for Implementing Role-playing Simulation Games in the Planning Process
Hill, Michele M.
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Role-playing simulation games can be used as tools in the planning process in order to navigate more effectively in situations that are contentious or involve disparate populations or perspectives. Such games help participants better understand and consider alternate perspectives, leading to improved results in the planning process. Planners can use games as decision-making, rehearsal and public engagement tools. This research explores using games as decision-making tools with planners as participants. Three branches of theory inform the use of games in planning: positivism and rational planning; complexity and incrementalism; and communicative action and collaborative planning. These frameworks inform the use of games for testing, predicting, and problem-framing. A process for designing and implementing games in the planning process is presented. The process is tested in a participatory action research framework, through implementation of a planning game with Seattle-area planning professionals and students. Results suggest that role-playing simulation games have potential as tools in the planning process, providing planners and participants with an innovative, creative, and collaborative tool to address wicked problems involving heterogeneous populations.
- Urban planning