Do you enjoy playing games and have you ever played “serious” games before? Serious games are the virtual simulation of real-world events especially designed to educate, inform and train the players for the purpose of solving a specific problem, unlike entertainment games. It has been applied in many other areas including in the field of disaster risk management since scenarios and simulations can be important aspects of disaster planning and emergency management. These serious games could help to increase public awareness, promote prevention and reduce risk by allowing the exposed community at risk to prepare themselves before, during and after a disaster strikes. For example, what kinds of preventive measures can be implemented to mitigate potential flood risk or how to prepare in case of flooding? Here are some interesting serious games you could check out:
- “Stop Disasters” from the UNISDR, http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/playgame.html, is a game about natural disaster prevention which enables you to face and prevent the consequences of disasters such as people killed and damages to the property. There are five different scenarios you can play: earthquake, flood, hurricane, tsunami and wildfire, and each scenario could takes between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the disaster you are trying to prevent and your skill levels. This game provides information about different preventive measures and you can build your own measures in the best possible way to reduce the risk.
- “FloodSim” created by Norwich Union in cooperation with Playgen, http://playgen.com/play/floodsim/, is an interactive policy simulation game which aims to raise public awareness of flooding problems in the United Kingdom. It allows you to implement different policy means over a time span of three years and provides interactive feedback on your decisions taken after each time period.
3. “Disaster Hero” by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), http://www.disasterhero.com/, is an interesting online educational learning game for children for disaster preparedness in the home. In this game, one can learn the skills needed to prepare, survive and recover from a natural disaster. There are four different disaster scenarios: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, and you can become the next Disaster Hero if you can beat the members of Dante’s disaster specialist team in the game. Additional resources are also available for parents and teachers to get prepared in home and classroom!
Only internet connection and web browser is needed to play these interesting games. Shall we go play to get informed about natural disasters and prepare ourselves in case of disasters? Don’t forget you can also become a real disaster hero if you are prepared well. Happy Playing!!
The author @is a PhD candidate working in the field of risk management applying geo-information tools and writes on disasters and information technology related topics in this blog.