Decision-Making Games for Climate Change
PETLab has teamed up with Red Cross Climate Center to develop a set of games about disaster preparedness in the face of flooding, drought and other climate change related issues.
I worked with PETLab director Colleen Macklin, Red Cross Climate Center staff member Pablo Suarez and my colleagues George Bixby, Julynn Benedetti, Maya Sariahmed and Alex Stachelek. My role in the team was designing the game mechanic, visuals and building the website that showcase our games and manifest.
The initiative, which we call "Games for Disaster Preparedness", are playful, often non-digital activities that actively engage participants in experiential learning, through the simulation of complex decisions with consequences. Designed for an audience of Red Cross staff, scientists and people facing climate-change related disasters all around the world, Pablo has been playing the games with his audience in conferences and events to better communicate the very idea of taking actions in a natural disaster scene. The games have been played in many workshops and conferences held in different cities in four continents, some cities are Copenhagen, London, San Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Senegal, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines...
-Complex scientific data presented by Red Cross staff that is hard to grasp by the audience
-Communicational gap between Red Cross staff and their audience in their presentations
-Lack of familiarity amongst audience. Lack of communication and contribution and engagement in discussions
-Diverse audience with different cultural, ethnic, educational backgrounds
-Simple game mechanic that communicate the idea of climate change and actions to be taken
-Different roles and simulations to break the ice between Red Cross staff and the audience
-Engaging mechanic with physical movements (constant motion in game by sitting, standing, changing seats, etc) that enable communication and active involvement
-Simple set-up that doesn't require heavy preparation or high level technology (considering the villages and towns lacking tools and devices)