This paper describes a new gaming tool that allows players (e.g. water managers and farmers) to explore the consequences of their interactions in managing river floodplains. To facilitate the process of creating and testing new policies that would help to accommodate disordering events, e.g. floods, we developed a system dynamics model of floodplain agriculture that drives an interactive game. The Floodplain Management Game can be used as an educational resource, knowledge elicitation technique or transition management tool for agriculture and river management. The key feature is that it unites technical (problem-solving) and relational issues in one game. In multiple areas it has proven a useful tool for participants to experience the challenges of policy-making for managing rivers as well as for floodplain agriculture and for scientists to examine how stakeholders make decisions about such options. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.