Publication Details

Cleland, D., Dray, A., Perez, P. & Geronimo, R. (2010). SimReef and ReefGame: gaming for integrated reef research and management. In D. Cleland, J. Melbourne-Thomas, M. King & G. Sheehan (Eds.), Building capacity in coral reef science: An anthology of CRTR scholars’ research 2010 (pp. 123-129). St Lucia: University of Queensland.


As threats to coastal and ocean systems grow in scale and complexity, the calls for new approaches to research and management grow in volume. The Modeling and Decision Support Working Group (MDSWG) of the CRTR Program has developed two participatory gaming tools that address the need for integrative approaches to coral reef management. SimReef is a regional model and role-play game aimed at policy makers and industry representatives. It simulates coastal development trajectories and trade-offs between environmental, social and economic concerns. ReefGame is a local-level model and board game that helps local people and reef managers explore interactions between livelihoods, reefs and fisheries. We have used these tools successfully in participatory workshops in the Philippines and Mexico. These experiences demonstrate that using games with stakeholders can be a powerful way to educate and involve the public in coral reef management.