Louisiana Coastal Resilience Game

Type of Game: 
Screen-based game (e.g., app, online game, software-based game)
Target Audience: 
Conservation and management professionals
University and graduate students

Adapted from https://usbcsd.org/louisiana-game-survey:

“On average, the state of Louisiana loses a football field worth of land every hour. Now more than ever, with 3% of the state gone, it is urgent for us all to find practical ways to help affected communities and our shared resources. The Louisiana Coastal Resilience Game creates a unique opportunity for people and organizations to learn and discuss these shared challenges in a new way.

The Game is built on the collaboration and insights of a wide range of Louisiana stakeholders …. Those insights are brought to life in a dynamic way through the powerful capabilities of the University of Virginia’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming. Players explore and understand mutual interests, trade-offs, and unintended consequences of funding projects to address coastal resiliency.

Each player is assigned a role. Each role is allotted a realistic and representative budget for investment. Sometimes players have enough funds to invest and make a difference. Sometimes players need to ask other players to supplement their funds. And sometimes players don’t have access to resources and instead need to inform and influence the people who do have money to spend. That’s how it works in real life. By playing these roles and watching decisions play out, players gain new insights.

For each game year, results of investments on key environmental, economic, and social metrics are shown in clear graphs compared to a baseline (business as usual) scenario. This makes it easy to see where collaboration and investment made a difference to the outcomes for people, the environment, and the economy.

Since the Louisiana coast is also threatened by weather events that cannot be anticipated, the game includes random Category 3 or Category 5 hurricane events. The likely impact of these events on ecosystems, communities, and the population is shown in the metrics as well.

While the decisions and outcomes may seem realistic, the Game is an experiential learning and engagement tool, not a detailed decision analysis tool. To make the Game playable in a single sitting and with appropriate group sizes, many issues have been combined or simplified. Outcomes should be taken as challenges, not as predictable results.”

Additional information:

  • Players use laptops or tablets to play the game.
  • The game has been used by actual decision-makers representing federal and state agencies, industry, and NGOs.
  • The game is freely available. To access the game, use the contact information below.

Contact: Gerard Learmonth, jl5c [at] virginia.edu