The Games We Play - Learning Made Fun with EOS' Dynamic Earth Games

Earth Observatory Blog

The Games We Play - Learning Made Fun with EOS' Dynamic Earth Games

The Sim City Pyroclastic Flow and Tile Chart (Source: Antoinette Jade/Earth Observatory of Singapore)

Did my last blog post about the Dynamic Earth Games (DEG) leave you hungry for more details about the games? Well, I hope to satisfy your curiosity in this second post.

The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) collaborated with BOHO Interactive and the Science Centre Singapore to develop seven different games. These fall into three broad categories:

  1. Volcanoes and Typhoons,
  2. Assessing Risk, and
  3. Evacuation.

Volcanoes and Typhoons

An ash cloud looms over a volcano (Source: Kuang Jianhong/Earth Observatory of Singapore)

The Dynamic Earth Games explain the science behind natural hazards with a strong focus on geology and meteorology. While playing the games, you will learn some of the signs of an impending volcanic eruption and the tools that scientists use to detect them. You will also experience some of the dangers that are tied to these hazards and, hopefully, learn how to increase your chances of survival should you be caught in such a scenerio.

Assessing Risk

To evacuate or to stay? (Source: Antoinette Jade/Earth Observatory of Singapore)

Making decisions can be difficult to do. On some days, for example, something simple like choosing between chocolate- and coffee-flavoured ice-cream can feel vexing for me. Imagine then having to make a life-saving decision and to make it quickly in a desperate and chaotic situation. The urgency of time fast running out does make the decision-making process so much more grueling. To add to the agony of such a challenge, try piecing together information that is given only in dribs and drabs, and does not seem to make any sense.

Players have to try and save their own lives by deciding quickly if they will evacuate or stay (Source: BOHO Interactive)

What does it mean when the government announces that there is a 40% chance of a natural hazard occurring? Should I take the risk to stay in the area or evacuate? Do I want to keep my resources to myself or share them with others? From playing these games, we get a chance to explore the concepts of risk and probability, as well as the science behind game theory.

Evacuation

Students from Whitley Secondary School playing "2 Farm 2 Furious" (Source: Antoinette Jade/Earth Observatory of Singapore)

When authorities do decide to evacuate a city, is it simply a case of pack-and-go for the people? What concerns do the affected people have? What challenges will the evacuating people face? Should I risk my own life trying to save my grandmother who lives at the other end of town, or should I seek safe shelter for myself?

Putting the players of the Dynamic Earth Games through the real-life chaos and difficulties faced in natural disaster situations, these are some of the tough questions that they will have to answer. Each one of their decisions will bring them closer or further away from survival.

Please click on the video below for an overview of the EOS Dynamic Earth Games.

This is the second out of four posts in a special series on the EOS Dynamic Earth Games. Please check this space again next week for our third instalment. The first post can be read here.

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