Distributed Asymmetric Simulation — Enhancing Participatory Simulation Using the Concept of Habitus

Abstract : This paper presents a novel way to conceptualize and implement roles in computer assisted participatory simulation. In distributed asymmetric simulation, attention is paid to how tasks, information and perception of the environment are distributed among the different roles of the simulation. The innovation lies in the fact that we use the concept of Habitus defined by Bourdieu to guide us when distributing features to roles. It implies to define for each role a specific simulation environment (visualization, access to information, possible actions) that fits his objective and forces the participant to follow particular action rationales towards the environment. This results in a type of participatory simulation that amplifies the effect of decentering (change of perspective) experienced by participants of a session. It encourages them to deal with plural perspectives and a diversity of representations of the same system. The concept was tested and implemented in an application called NewDistrict. This participatory simulation tool is addressed to an audience concerned by urban development projects and aims to facilitate collective learning on the effects of peri-urbanization on biodiversity. Preliminary results show that it fosters awareness and understanding about differences between the action rationales of roles towards the environment. Considering how distant stakeholders' perceptions may be regarding environmental management, we think that distributed asymmetric simulation is especially well suited to applications in the domain of Human-Nature relationship.
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Nicolas Becu, Nathalie Frascaria-Lacoste, Julie Latune. Distributed Asymmetric Simulation — Enhancing Participatory Simulation Using the Concept of Habitus. 45th Conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association, Jul 2014, Dornbirn, Austria. pp.75-85. ⟨hal-01453401⟩

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