Serious gaming for user centered innovation and adoption of disaster response information systems

Kenny Meesters, Bartel A Van De Walle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Global profusion of information technology has spawned a large and varied number of tools and systems to aid disaster responders in managing disaster-related information. To adequately study the conception, development and deployment of such tools and systems, the user and the operational context in which user tasks are performed play a central role. As natural disasters however happen unexpectedly, often occur in remote areas and always impose working conditions of high time pressure and high situational volatility, user involvement is difficult to achieve for adequately studying tools and systems in disaster conditions. Current approaches for adoption in disaster conditions are therefore either resource intensive or lack realism, or both. This paper proposes the use of serious games to balance the realism of a disaster situation with an efficient and effective study setup and execution. Building on existing literature for serious gaming, it presents a serious game that focuses on the information management and decision making processes in an urban search and rescue setting. Through several game instances that have been played in the past three years, it examines the usefulness of serious games as a method to conduct research, to facilitate user centered development and to support dissemination activities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Decision Making
  • Evaluation
  • Designs
  • Urban Search Rescue
  • Disaster Response
  • Innovations
  • Games
  • Information Systems
  • Disaster Scenarios
  • Logistics


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