Simplified wind farm design as a serious game
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To maintain the current momentum of increasing interest and development in offshore wind energy, there is a need for novel training tools for engineers and researchers. Concurrently, additional educational outreach activities are required to inform the general public on the cost of energy from offshore wind and the research to improve it. A serious game may enable a new group of learners to explore the topic of offshore wind. The objective of this study is to develop a serious game for the design and management of offshore wind farms to be used for training and dissemination. The game s effectiveness is measured in terms of its simulations and its educational power. The study includes a literature review of serious game design and offshore wind energy followed by the development of game design and a functioning prototype using Python. This prototype was playtested and evaluated for educational impact and playability. The game design involves the joint tasks of building a game framework and developing a simplified offshore wind farm simulation. This simulation addresses weather prediction, offshore wind farm design, operation and maintenance, energy demand, climate change, finance, and stakeholder influence. The weather prediction model uses a Markov chain matrix to generate different sea states for every iteration of the game. The game is considered effective with respect to its simulation efficiency and its ability to produce realistic values for offshore wind energy. Playtesting demonstrated immersion and informed decision making among participants. Additional surveys revealed that the participants knowledge on offshore wind had increased while playing the game. Key recommendations for future versions of this serious game about offshore wind energy are listed.