Presenting Author Name/s

Madison Perry, Andrew Lindgren, Lily Daniels, and Michael Neczyporuk

Faculty Advisor

Megan McKittrick

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Emergency and Disaster Management | Technical and Professional Writing

Description/Abstract

Through user experience testing and observation of player interactions, we examined the potential for a game to serve as a vehicle for risk communication and knowledge transmission. Our subject of study, Game of Floods, is a role-playing tabletop simulation game with the goal of educating participants on the threats climate change poses to coastal cities, with a specific focus on the drastic implications of sea level rise and increased rainfall. This game was originally designed by city planners in Marin County, California as a tool for public outreach regarding sea level rise adaptations (including, but not limited to seawalls, levees, and beach restoration). Currently, Game of Floods is used by resilience practitioners like the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and FEMA to replace traditional forms of communication in “train-the-trainer” workshops for city planners, local officials, and other professionals. Since coastal flooding is an issue which touches the lives of every member of a low-lying coastal community, every citizen is arguably a primary stakeholder, so our research explored the game’s viability when played by non-professionals. Our study included brief pre-/post-gameplay surveys administered to volunteer game participants solicited voluntarily from Old Dominion University. We used grounded theory and inductive thematic analysis to draw conclusions from the data which ultimately support the use of Game of Floods as a tool for community education and outreach. We also maintain that Game of Floods and other games of its kind represent a compelling new avenue for the development of literacy in topics outside the professional backgrounds of participants.

Session Title

Humanities & Education

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1311

Start Date

2-2-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 11:15 AM

Full Text of Presentation

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Feb 2nd, 10:15 AM Feb 2nd, 11:15 AM

Game of Floods: Water Is Coming

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1311

Through user experience testing and observation of player interactions, we examined the potential for a game to serve as a vehicle for risk communication and knowledge transmission. Our subject of study, Game of Floods, is a role-playing tabletop simulation game with the goal of educating participants on the threats climate change poses to coastal cities, with a specific focus on the drastic implications of sea level rise and increased rainfall. This game was originally designed by city planners in Marin County, California as a tool for public outreach regarding sea level rise adaptations (including, but not limited to seawalls, levees, and beach restoration). Currently, Game of Floods is used by resilience practitioners like the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and FEMA to replace traditional forms of communication in “train-the-trainer” workshops for city planners, local officials, and other professionals. Since coastal flooding is an issue which touches the lives of every member of a low-lying coastal community, every citizen is arguably a primary stakeholder, so our research explored the game’s viability when played by non-professionals. Our study included brief pre-/post-gameplay surveys administered to volunteer game participants solicited voluntarily from Old Dominion University. We used grounded theory and inductive thematic analysis to draw conclusions from the data which ultimately support the use of Game of Floods as a tool for community education and outreach. We also maintain that Game of Floods and other games of its kind represent a compelling new avenue for the development of literacy in topics outside the professional backgrounds of participants.