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Cormas
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User summary:

Cormas (Common-pool resources and multi-agent simulations) is a series of role-playing games that utilize "real-world" paradigms as input. A typical Cormas game focuses on complex agrarian land use problems and allows players to assume the roles of local farmers, government officials, or ecological specialists in order to explore and better understand possible actions and probable outcomes.

Cormas games typically utilize Facilitators to teach the game to players and to assist in game execution, but these Facilitators are decidedly not "game masters" in any traditional sense. Instead, games involve several players making collaborative decisions (or compromises) to explore the situation. Characters typically are fairly simple and defined by their role. The setting typically is modeled closely on the local area. The scenario typically focuses on "real world" problems being experienced in the area.

Most (but not all) Cormas games utilize a computer simulation to process character decisions and determine outcomes. The simulation uses a common framework supporting the scenario but is not intended to be the focus of the game - rather, it is a tool comparable to a (very sophisticated) set of die rolls and action tables.

All Cormas games are freely available online, and the two major software systems used are open source and free. The games typically are written in French and then translated into the local language. Play sessions usually are recorded and later used to improve the computer model. A quite large extant scientific literature has been developed around these games. Nevertheless, they are not exercises or simulations - they are always presented as, and executed as, role-playing games.

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