We often hear –– Games are ancient, an escape from reality, enjoyed by young and old alike, and are wonderful teachers. We have also seen games being used to prepare for wars, make learning fun, or to train for real-life scenarios. What we usually don’t associate games with is public policy. So, what makes games an interesting research tool? Why are they amenable to capturing complex social data? What makes them useful tools to increase participation, model complexity, deal with diversity, and collect data for public policy-making? In this talk, Bharath will unpack these questions using examples from his decade of work in public policy in India.
Bharath M. Palavalli designs and builds tools such as games and simulations by analysing various forms of social data to help make better public policy in the areas of poverty, transport, energy, disaster management and urban planning. He is the the Co-Founder of Fields of View, a non-profit research group in Bangalore and teaches a course on ‘Designing games as tools’. He was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2018 for his work in designing tools and methods to allow different stakeholders to collaborate on creating relevant public policy.