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“We designed the game-play to be open enough to afford multiple different strategies in response to shortages in fossil fuels, clean air and water, and food simultaneously with catastrophic climate change and a population explosion large enough to tax environmental carrying capacity even without the other pressures. In doing so we hope to study the psychology of groups in crisis.”
 
“We designed the game-play to be open enough to afford multiple different strategies in response to shortages in fossil fuels, clean air and water, and food simultaneously with catastrophic climate change and a population explosion large enough to tax environmental carrying capacity even without the other pressures. In doing so we hope to study the psychology of groups in crisis.”
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Existing research on the psychology of trust has been restricted to relatively unrealistic experimental situations on the one hand, and non-repeatable real-life observation on the other. The ‘Decline and Fall’ project aims to established exactly what conditions or behaviours are required to allow groups of people facing individual threats to cooperate.
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Existing research on the psychology of trust has been restricted to relatively unrealistic experimental situations on the one hand, and non-repeatable real-life observation on the other. The ‘Decline and Fall’ project aims to establish exactly what conditions or behaviours are required to allow groups of people facing individual threats to cooperate.
    
Specific theories to be tested by Gibbone’s research include the importance of trade links, democratic political organisation, free media, cultural exchange and technological development.
 
Specific theories to be tested by Gibbone’s research include the importance of trade links, democratic political organisation, free media, cultural exchange and technological development.
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“The dynamics of the game are designed so as that painless transition to low-energy use societies is possible at all points of the game, even the final hours. Winning strategies aren’t hard to identify, in theory there are multiple routes to success — but the level of coordination required stops most groups of players from achieving it.”
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“The dynamics of the game are designed so that painless transition to low-energy use societies is possible at all points of the game, even the final hours. Winning strategies aren’t hard to identify, in theory there are multiple routes to success — but the level of coordination required stops most groups of players from achieving it.”
    
The project is due to complete in 2012, when an estimated 400,000 players from around the world will have played ‘Decline and Fall’. Gibbone is due to make a presentation of the results and the implications for real world civilisation at the World Climate Change Conference in Geneva that year.
 
The project is due to complete in 2012, when an estimated 400,000 players from around the world will have played ‘Decline and Fall’. Gibbone is due to make a presentation of the results and the implications for real world civilisation at the World Climate Change Conference in Geneva that year.
    
Early reports from teams playing the game have been unpromising. When asked how successful teams of players have faced down their global crisis Gibbone just says “We’ll let you know when it happens”.
 
Early reports from teams playing the game have been unpromising. When asked how successful teams of players have faced down their global crisis Gibbone just says “We’ll let you know when it happens”.
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