Gaming provides insights into farmers' land management decisions.

Published online
26 Nov 2020
Content type

Rakotonarivo, O. S. & Jones, I. L. & Bell, A. & Duthie, A. B. & Cusack, J. & Minderman, J. & Hogan, J. & Hodgson, I. & Bunnefeld, N.

Publication language
UK & Scotland


A new experiment using a game, in which farmers manage a digital farming landscape: looking at how farmers manage their land in the game enables to understand how their land management decisions change under different scenarios. Across the farming landscape, farmers can choose to do different things including scaring or shooting geese, setting aside productive land for goose conservation habitat, or farming without any of these measures. This study provides some of the first experimental evidence for the roles of games in addressing the multifaceted complexities of conservation conflicts embedded in socio-ecological systems. It shows how complex the behavioural effects of varying policy interventions and their associations with social factors. Results provide support for the importance of innovative financial instruments in encouraging pro-conservation behaviour and allow for more targeted conflict interventions. It also highlight the importance of socio-political elements such as community trust and equity attitudes in managing conservation conflicts in addition to addressing material losses to wildlife.

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