The soil Game
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A serious Game about Soil and Agriculture

a two hours workshop

What is it about?

The Living Soil Workshop is a serious game to understand the different cause to effect relationships in the soil system and how collective choices can influence them. It is meant to illustrate the complex life, chemistry, and physics of the soil to different stakeholders. It can also be a great educative tool for students of all ages.

Why is this important?

Soil is a crucial component of the earth’s system. It is the substrate in which we grow our food, a fascinating nutrient transforming factory and a fantastic reservoir of life. It is also under pressure. It is urgent to build as quickly as possible a common knowledge of soil functioning and soil related issues. Important decisions about our soils need to be made and those must be informed by sound science.

How Does it work?

Each session of the game lasts 2 hours and is animated by a facilitator. It is divided in three phases.

In the first one, the players must place the different components of the soil system and explain how they interact in a natural context. Players are introduced to the following concepts : mineralization, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, nutrient cycles, mycorrhizae. According to the background of the team we will explore those topics with more or less complexity. Players with more knowledge are invited to explain to the others. The whole game is collaborative.

Then players discover agrictultural practices and their impact on the soil and on the environment.

The third phase is dedicated to understanding the human and environmental costs of those practices and discussing the possible solutions to mitigate them. The players put together everything they have learned so far and put themselves in the shoes of politicians, farmers and citizens to discuss potential options to mitigate the soil related threats.

They tried the game

"The living soil workshop is THE serious game to learn from each other how soils work now and may work in the future"
Gerlinde De Deyn - Soil Biology Group, Wageningen University and Research

"The living soil workshop is not only preaching about the importance of soils but, rather, actively triggering the phantasy and imagination of the players of the game thereby transmitting key information about soils : a modern form of highly effective communication."
Prof. dr. J. Bouma

"The living soil workshop uniquely effective and fun way to engage people, while educating them on the importance of healthy soils."
Rio Pals