How Can Serious Games Help Foster Vibrant Small Farms, Good Food and Health Equity?
Open to the Public
An interdisciplinary team at the University of Vermont has been awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health grant.
The cross-campus partnership will employ serious games — video games which are not for entertainment purposes — that can test how different scenarios might play out in real life. “Serious games can help us look at responses to simulated conflict and to alternative policies, without confronting people with actual conflict or poor policies. By doing so, we can find ways to build more equitable and just solutions,” says team member Scott Merrill.
The team’s approach involves understanding not only decision-making by farmers and distributors, but also the larger context in which they take place. The games developed will examine how potential policies could create more opportunities for farmers to feed their local and regional communities. Seeing how abstract policies can affect reality on the ground will help identify leverage points for change across the food system.
Led by food anthropologist Amy Trubek, the team includes systems ecologist Scott Merrill, food systems scientist Caitlin Morgan, applied mathematician Eric Clark, and health policy expert Julia Wolfson, a partner at Johns Hopkins University.
- Sponsored by:
- Anthropology; Food Studies
Sheridan, Michael J.