Waikato Journal of Education


I present an interactive role-playing game for tertiary students illustrating the tragedy of the commons, particularly as it relates to fisheries management.

Each player or team of players represents the power brokers who control fisheries policy in hypothetical countries. Players take the role either of 'greedies' intent on converting fish to currency, or 'greenies', with a mission of sustainability and conservation. A key objective of the game is to develop students' insight into some of the practical problems of resource management while balancing stakeholder interests. This requires students to negotiate a path through various agendas. Conflicts both within and between teams are a major component of the game.

The effectiveness of the game is discussed in relation to existing research on role-playing games in education, and on student feedback. It is concluded that the game is an effective way of teaching negotiation skills, problem solving in resource management and self-knowledge.


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