Serious gaming for better cooperation in flood defence asset management

Frank den Heijer*, Maarten Podt, Marian Bosch-Rekveldt, Annemargreet de Leeuw, Jeroen Rijke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Flood defences are often situated in public spaces and are mostly multi-functional, multi-financed and multi-managed. Cooperation in flood defence asset management is important because roles and responsibilities are fragmented within and between organisations. This complex context calls for mutual understanding from responsible role-holders. Research has shown that serious games are instrumental to reflect situations in which technical and social complexity both play a role. Serious games motivate participants to learn and to change the way they learn. This paper presents the development, application, and results of a serious game ‘Dike Dilemmas Under Pressure' that aims to create better mutual understanding between actors in flood defence asset management. The game was played with 67 professionals that fulfil a diversity of roles related to flood defence asset management in the Netherlands. The analysis of the results in this paper clearly shows different preferred cooperative attitudes between different groups of role-holders and indicates potential misperceptions. The game participants were enthusiastic about the insights gained. They indicated that it helped them to recognise the broad variety of asset management dilemmas and become aware of their own cooperative attitudes and those of their colleagues towards dealing with these dilemmas. Future application of the game is recommended to monitor the cooperative attitudes of professionals in flood defence and to support the development of teams.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12910
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Flood Risk Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • asset management
  • education and training
  • flood defence measures
  • governance and institutions


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