Disaster in my backyard: A serious game to improve community disaster resilience

Kenny Meesters, Luuk Olthof, Bartel Van de Walle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional

9 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in climate and the growing population have not only led to an increase in the occurrence of disastrous natural events but has also increased the impact of these events on the population. As illustrated by the Red Cross World Disaster Report various groups work together to help people to prepare
for, stay safe during and recover after a disaster strikes. Academics, professionals and -not in the last place - communities themselves work to improve the resilience to disasters.
Building disaster resilient communities, requires instilling both knowledge and experience within the community. However building this required knowledge and experience is not evident, as access to the needed knowledge is difficult. Besides disseminating the required knowledge to the communities, internalizing, through application of supplied
knowledge, is equally important. The opportunities to apply the knowledge and familiarize oneself with a disaster situation are (fortunately) limited. While options, such as table - top simulations, or field - exercises exist to provide opportunities to build experience they either do not provide an immersive experience or require a significant amount of resources. Serious gaming is an
effective tool for giving players a hands - on, immersive experience of a crisis situation, balancing the required realism with an efficient and effective setup and execution. We have developed a game that presents players with a disaster environment in which they have to gather information, make decisions and coordinate search and rescue efforts. The game utilizes augmented reality
within a realistic scenario; providing a game environment with a large degree of freedom to make decisions. This game has been played and evaluated
during the ‘day of (humanitarian) logistics’ and showed that it successfully helps citizens familiarize themselves with the uncertainty, chaos and stress faced in a disaster setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL 2014)
EditorsC. Busch
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
ISBN (Print)9781910309551
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event8th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL 2014) - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 9 Oct 201410 Oct 2014


Conference8th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL 2014)


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