From 3-4 November 2023, a workshop was held in Can Tho University Campus by Research Institute for Climate Change – Can Tho University, The Water Agency and Deltares to test “Serious Game”, a type of Board Game which partially simulates the actual condition of groundwater use in the coastal Mekong Delta.
Experts from Deltares explained the concept of “Serious Gaming” – the game offers the experience of four farmers (named A, B, C, D) living in different zones of the coastal Mekong Delta. Players manage eight farms across upstream, middle, and coastal areas using surface water, groundwater, and stored water for irrigation. Each game consists of 5 rounds, representing a farming season, with 7 steps (from water storing and seeds purchasing to harvesting and selling products, and water storing for the next season). After a few rounds, players witness virtual demonstration of declining groundwater, saltwater intrusion, and land subsidence due to water usage and they need to make decisions to mitigate these effects by investing in solutions like drip irrigation or water storage facilities to balance water use and minimize negative impacts on the environment.
Experts from Deltares explaining the concept of “Serious Game”
Students notably expanded their understanding of groundwater usage and its interplay with various factors like declining groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion, and land subsidence. They also learned the importance of assessing water usage impacts and engaging in discussions with neighbours before irrigating their fields. The game received numerous positive responses from participating students. With the guidance of Deltares’ experts, the game proved both comprehensible and captivating.