Thank you Myisha Ahmad from Bangladesh, for trying out the prototypes and commenting on the concepts
Lekkalekka is a serious game to explore the decisions local small farmers face in a changing physical environment.
Slowly changing climate, changing precipitation patterns and temperature patterns will force farmers to reassess their crop choices.
Increased droughts will urge farmers to choose more drought resistant crops, as the traditional choices will lead to increased drought damage.
Increased flooding, on the other hand, will force farmers to choose more inundation-resilient crops, and one wise adaptation strategy might be to diversify and spread the risk over more crops.
LekkaLekka is a serious game to explore the pressures on the farmers decision, and the choices to be made.
LekkaLekka is developed as part of the refresher course “Game Design For Teachers” at the Hogeschool Utrecht.
In every round the players have to decide on crops they will plant. Choices are to plant LekkaLekka, a staple food that produces a reliable, but modest yield. Not very costly to grow, but modest revenue.
The alternative is to grow BussamRice, a highly appreciated addition to the daily menu. The cost for planting BussamRice is similar to the costs of LekkaLekka, but revenues are much higher. However, BussamRice is more vulnerable to droughts, and thus revenues will suffer under water stress.
Balancing revenues and risks
The dice is rolled, and the outcome determines the amount of water available, and the result is increased with the ‘Extra water’. It is clear that is sufficient extra water is available, the optimal choice will be to invest in BussamRice and not in LekkaLekka.
However, if the extra water is limited, a safer choice will be to diversify. A strategy of pooling the risks by a combination of the high-revenue/high-risk crop (BussamRice) with the lower-revenue/less-risk crop (LekkaLekka).
If things really become risky, farmers may even decide to retract to planting only LekkaLekka.
Next levels: more options
The game includes several options for advanced analysis. In one of the options, the amount of extra water comes from a publicly funded and managed irrigation dam. The amount of extra water available for all the players is controlled by the contribution of all players to this dam. If players contribute little, only a small amount of water becomes available, if all players contribute a lot, a large amount of water is available.
Players have to negotiate the contribution to the public funds and have to make their crop choices based on their assumption of added water that will become available.
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