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Games for Geoscience V

Games have the power to ignite imaginations and place you in someone else’s shoes or situation, often forcing you into making decisions from perspectives other than your own. This makes them powerful tools for communication, through use in outreach, disseminating research, in education and teaching at all levels, and as a method to train the public, practitioners and decision makers in order to build environmental resilience.
Games can also inspire innovative and fun approaches to learning. Gamification and game-based approaches add an extra spark of engagement and interaction with a topic. Gaming technology, like virtual reality, transports and immerses people into new worlds providing fascinating and otherwise impossible experiences for learners.
In this session we welcome contributions from anyone who has used games, gaming technology, and/or game-based approaches in their research, their teaching, or public engagement activities.
Celebrating its fifth year, the session will be supported by the legendary Games4Geo Games Night providing an opportunity to share and try games presented in this session. We welcome continuation of discussions in our Discord server - https://discord.gg/teQXBh5

Convener: Christopher Skinner | Co-conveners: Rolf HutECSECS, Sam Illingworth, Elizabeth Lewis, Jazmin ScarlettECSECS
| Wed, 25 May, 15:10–16:38 (CEST)
Room 1.14

Wed, 25 May, 15:10–16:40

Chairpersons: Christopher Skinner, Annie Ockelford, Tess O'Hara

On-site presentation
Inez Harker-Schuch

The 21st century is rapidly shaping up to be one in which technology, particularly information technology (IT), dominates nearly every aspect of human life and, as a result, the demand for a digitally literate and IT-skilled labour force is rapidly increasing. Consequently, education and learning institutions are progressively being required to adopt new media and provide new services to keep pace with the exigencies of this new Information Age. Digital games, in particular, are becoming more widely adopted as they offer unique learning environments that can improve student learning commitment, performance, and enjoyment – and have a lower environmental burden.  While most digital games, including those for recreation, offer elements of learning, serious digital games are designed to train or educate.  Similarly to recreational games, serious games employ 3D visualisations, rewards, stimulation, and emotional connection, competition and constraint, immediate feedback, cognitive conflict, and interactivity e.g. user-friendly player interfaces or avatars.  In addition, SEGs offer situated and conceptualised learning and training, tailored study, development of mastery, personal and self-esteem development, and provide a tactile online learning experience that can also take place in virtual environments that are inaccessible, dangerous or impractical for players to experience in the real world.  Serious games fall into several categories from broad training games, such as 3D simulations and digital interactions, to serious educational games (SEGs), which are games designed with specific learning outcomes, target domain-specific K-20 content knowledge, and use real-life environments to educate students by incorporating specific a priori pedagogical frameworks to train and instruct.  SEGs are, arguably, the most complex serious games to develop as they need to incorporate recreational game development factors i.e., fun, as well as include the relevant pedagogical and curriculum elements and ensure students are able to understand and achieve the specific learning objectives and goals.  Reconciling recreational game theory (programming, mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics/technical art, story/flow, technology, testing /player experience, etc.) with SEG development (curriculum, learning objectives, pedagogical design, assessment, and monitoring, etc.) can be complex and fraught with conflicts and barriers e.g. making the learning of difficult concepts or tasks fun.  This article presents the development and use of The Planet Academy programme and associated series of SEGs in Denmark, Austria, Sweden, and Australia and proposes a pathway towards reconciling many of the conflicts between recreational and SEGs; exploring the conceptualisation, production, pedagogical considerations, and offering a practical, how-to, approach for SEG creation. We demonstrate that SEGs offer a unique, unparalleled medium for learning and offer extraordinary opportunities for improving digital literacy, reducing emissions, cultivating an IT-skilled workforce and, more importantly, drastically increasing student engagement, performance, and learning outcomes in the day-to-day classroom.

How to cite: Harker-Schuch, I.: Developing The Planet Academy programme – a practical how-to approach for designing and creating serious educational games (SEGs)., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2249, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2249, 2022.

On-site presentation
Bärbel Winkler and John Cook

Misinformation about climate change does damage in multiple ways. It causes people to believe wrong things, polarizes the public, and reduces trust in scientists. Climate misinformation reduces support for climate action, delaying policies to mitigate climate change. One of the most insidious aspects of misinformation is that it can cancel out accurate information. When people are presented with fact and myth but don’t know how to resolve the conflict between the two, the risk is they disengage and believe neither. Consequently, an effective way to counter misinformation is to help people resolve the conflict between facts and myths. This can be achieved through inoculation theory, a branch of psychological research that applies the concept of vaccination to knowledge. Just as exposing people to a weakened form of a virus develops resistance to the real virus, similarly, exposing people to a weakened form of misinformation builds immunity to real-world misinformation. In other words, rather than getting lost in particulars, you explain the misleading rhetorical techniques and logical fallacies used in misinformation. Inoculation has been found to be effective in neutralizing misinformation casting doubt on the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming.

However, there are many misinformation techniques and inoculating people against them all is a communication and education challenge. Games offer engaging tools for incentivizing people to repeatedly perform misinformation-spotting tasks in order to build up their critical thinking skills. Games that are fun to engage with while serving a useful educational purpose are known as serious games, and are already being explored as a tool for building resilience against misinformation, using an approach known as active inoculation. Typically, inoculation interventions are passive, with messages received in a one-way direction from communicator to audience. In contrast, active inoculation involves participants in an interactive inoculation process – having them learn the techniques of science denial by ironically learning to use the misleading techniques themselves. The Cranky Uncle game adopts an active inoculation approach, where a “cranky uncle” cartoon character mentors players to learn the techniques of science denial. Cranky Uncle is a free game available on iPhone (sks.to/crankyiphone) and Android (sks.to/crankyandroid) smartphones as well as web browsers (app.crankyuncle.info). The player’s aim is to become a “cranky uncle” who skillfully applies a variety of logically flawed argumentation techniques to reject the conclusions of scientific communities. By adopting the mindset of a cranky uncle, the player develops a deeper understanding of science denial techniques, thus acquiring the knowledge to resist misleading persuasion attempts in the future.

The game is available in several languages and creating the translations involved some creative problem solving to come up with suitable alternatives where the English content couldn’t simply be translated directly. Reasons for these challenges were linked to cultural or legal differences across countries. For example, some terms were ambiguous in one language but not another, actual people mentioned in quiz questions were not known outside of the US, or a fallacy was named differently in another language, requiring a new icon.

How to cite: Winkler, B. and Cook, J.: Cranky Uncle - a multi-lingual critical thinking game to build resilience against climate misinformation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1251, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1251, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Valeria Misiti et al.

The goal of scientific dissemination is to reach all levels of age and social origin of the population, simplifying scientific concepts and making them appealing to the general public.A common and understandable language has always been the visual one, for this reason many authors use images as a tool to convey scientific notions and discoveries. From its origins, science has placed images at the center of its communication processes: drawings, diagrams and then, subsequently to scientific discoveries, photographs, films up to satellite images.In this framework, we emphasize the importance of playful-didactic activity and visual language to facilitate learning and, in particular the development of scientific games. Our working group has been collaborating for years in the organization of dissemination events with the aim of increasing knowledge on the major geological issues for the protection of the planet.In this context it is important to highlight the role of scientific dissemination and the different methodologies to be used.One of the most used and appreciated tools has been the creation of scientific-didactic games: to simplify concepts, the game has in fact proved to be a fundamental tool.We present VULCANOPOLI, inserted in a series of science games that started with MAREOPOLI (Locritani et al. 2017) and inspired by Hasbro’s famous MONOPOLY. The main topic is volcanoes, both from a scientific and a historical point of view. Thanks to this game the historical evolution of some of the most important Italian Volcanoes can be reconstructed. The rules are those of the original game with some additional questions and concepts to remember, to conquer cities and accumulate points. The VULCANOPOLY game-board consists of thirty-six spaces containing twenty-one villages and cities on three main italian active volcanoes (Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna and Stromboli Island) and one quiescent volcano (Colli Albani Volcanic District), four Chance spaces and four Community Chest spaces, a hot water baths space, a geothermal energy space, an underpass space, and the four corner squares: GO, Viewpoint, Magma Chamber and Connecting way. A deck of thirty-two Chance and Community Chest cards (sixteen each) which players draw when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions and myths, legends and folklore tales  based on real events printed on them.Each time a player's token lands on or passes over GO, whether by throw of the dice or by drawing a card, the Volcanologist gives that player a volcanic rock (basalte, tuff, pozzolana, pumice, obsidian, scoria). The game can be played at secondary schools with the participation of INGV researchers. The game follows the same rules as the MONOPOLY but mediated by the presence of a researcher. 

How to cite: Misiti, V., Di Nezza, M., Riposati, D., Di Laura, F., Battelli, P., and Crescimbene, M.: VULCANOPOLY: playing towards a better future, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4548, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4548, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Laura Hobbs et al.

Since 2014, Science Hunters (1,2) has successfully used the computer game Minecraft to engage children with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and particularly geoscience (3), through a defined approach which allows exploration in line with individual interest within the framework of specific topics. Minecraft offers almost limitless building possibilities within a range of virtual environments. It has huge appeal, with features and processes that can be linked to those in the real world, and is therefore an ideal tool for communication of scientific concepts.

Previous research has indicated that Minecraft successfully acts as a hook to draw children into engaging with topics (4), and that this specific approach is successful in increasing subject knowledge and understanding. For example, 492 children participating in school-based sessions on ‘volcanoes’ and ‘habitats’ showed statistically significant increases in correct answers when asked the same topic-based questions before and after participating (5).

Since April 2020, the Science Hunters project Building to Break Barriers (6), funded by an Ingenious grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been developing methods for engaging children with aspects and applications of engineering that children may not typically associate with the topic through Minecraft. Drawing on the foundations of Science Hunters, this has included environmental-based topics such as how people can mitigate against earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, manage rivers and flooding, store nuclear waste, dry crops in humid environments and design food production solutions.

Sessions were delivered virtually, due to COVID-19 considerations, and mainly in schools; despite this need to adapt to a new delivery format, and lack of face-to-face interaction, feedback remains overwhelmingly positive, with less positive responses focusing on wanting extended opportunities (i.e. for longer than one lesson) on the game.

Aligning with previous observations over years of Science Hunters delivery, preliminary evaluation of natural hazard-based sessions indicate that children enjoy being able to create their own structures in the game, and devise ways to protect them from environmental hazards through engineering solutions. Through this structured, child-led approach, Minecraft offers an effective tool for engaging children with a wide range of topics, including geoscience-based exploration and solution design.

1 https://www.uwe.ac.uk/research/centres-and-groups/scu/projects/science-hunters

2 www.lancaster.ac.uk/sciencehunters

3 Hobbs et al., 2018. Digging Deep into Geosciences with Minecraft. Eos, 99(11), 24-29

4 Hobbs et al., 2019. Using Minecraft to engage children with science at public events. Research for All, 3(2), 142–60

5 Hobbs et al., 2019. Science Hunters: Teaching Science Concepts in Schools Using Minecraft. Action Research and Innovation in Science Education, 2(2), 13-21

6 https://www.uwe.ac.uk/research/centres-and-groups/scu/projects/building-to-break-barriers

This contribution will be presented virtually.

How to cite: Hobbs, L., Bentley, S., Behenna, S., and Stevens, C.: Exploring engineering solutions to environmental hazards through Minecraft, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7435, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7435, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Patrice Rey

The pandemic has put this technology on the radar of many gamers, educators, and entrepreneurs. The capacity to collaboratively build and share synchronized virtual spaces is opening new avenues for distance education.  In STEM, field-based disciplines benefit the most from investment in VR technologies, as they can be used to build digital replicates of ecological environments and geological landscapes to be used in conjunction with real fieldwork experiences. Building virtual worlds is fast because most of the digital assets embedded into VR worlds are put together in applications supporting 3D formats (Paraview, Sketchup, QGIS or ArcGis, MatLab, Mathematica, etc). These assets can then be embedded into virtual worlds via a simple drag-and-drop process.

Using NEOS metaverse engine (free for non-commercial usage), I have built a digital replicate of the landscape I use for an introduction to geological mapping in sedimentary terrains. The 3D landscape, from central NSW in Australia, was put together in QGIS using a lidar image delivering a pixel footprint of 5 m, and a high-resolution satellite image from GoogleEarth. This 3D landscape was exported in gltf format using the Qgis2threejs plugin, and imported into a NEOS empty world, put to scale, and geographically oriented. To add to the realism, I added a skybox with a sun whose position changes with time, some 3D models of gum trees, bushes, and logs (bought on Sketchfab for a few dollars) and, since this landscape is on a working farm, some royalty-free sounds (cattle, sheep, bird, and bees).  Scans of 3D outcrops, 3D models of fossils, 2D digital photographs, 360 images were then be positioned onto the virtual landscape. These assets can easily be toggled on and off if necessary. The bulk of this geological mapping world took a few days to put together, and the cost was minimal since I used mainly open-source applications, open datasets, and free digital assets. Importantly, once a NEOS VR world is built, a limitless number of sessions can be open concurrently, allowing students to work in small groups without interferences with other groups. Students can be forced to walk on the digital landscape or be allowed to fly and see the landscape from a bird's view perspective to better grasp geological features or regain their bearings should they get lost.

Importantly, I designed and programmed, using NEOS’ scripting language, a fully functional geological compass for structural measurements, as well as a GPS handset since our virtual landscape is properly georeferenced. NEOS has a digital camera with which students can record pictures or movies, that can be easily exported onto their computers. These virtual devices allow students to record geological information the same way they would in the field. Though no virtual experiences can replace real field experience, the technology has evolved to a point where it can be used very effectively, either before going in the field so students get familiar with the geological landscape or after allowing students to revisit key outcrops or visit outcrops they may have missed.

How to cite: Rey, P.: Geological mapping in an immersive virtual world: A proof of concept, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1386, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1386, 2022.

On-site presentation
Iris van Zelst and Lucia Perez-Diaz

QUARTETnary is an educational card game about the geological time scale. Playable by anyone from 9 to 90, the game play follows that of the classic card game ‘quartets’, where players aim to collect sets of four cards belonging to a specific group (in this case, a certain geological time period). At the end of the game, the player with the most complete geological time line (i.e., the most quartets) wins the game! 

QUARTETnary consists of 15 different card quartets, each corresponding to a different geological eon, era, or period, starting in the Hadean and ending in the Quaternary. For each quartet, the cards represent key events, animals, or processes. For example, the Hadean consists of 1) the formation of the Moon; 2) Earth’s magma ocean; 3) the layered Earth; and 4) the first occurrence of liquid water on the planet. The cards specifically focus on geodynamic processes (i.e., the formation of Gondwanaland, Pangea, the Himalayas) and evolutionary developments (i.e., bacteria, land plants, mammals etc.) as well as major global events such as mass extinctions and the Cambrian explosion of life. They are illustrated in accordance with the official colour scheme set by the International Commission on Stratigraphy to ensure easy comparison with the official geological time scale.

Here, we present the first illustrated cards of QUARTETnary and parts of the accompanying booklet that provides more information on each of the time periods and the reasons for the inclusion of specific events on each of the cards. 

In addition, we discuss the launch of our website and twitter account in October 2021 in preparation of a kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the game within the next two years. We review how we prepared our social media campaign and show the resulting online engagement, plus illustrative reactions from the geosciences community. 

How to cite: van Zelst, I. and Perez-Diaz, L.: QUARTETnary - The card game about the geological time scale, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-652, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-652, 2022.

On-site presentation
Shreyasi Choudhury et al.

Serious games (SGs) are games developed and designed to inculcate skills, knowledge, competence or change the attitude towards a specific topic. Here we (i) review 58 serious games developed to inform actions and inculcate skills or knowledge on natural hazards or disaster risk; and (ii) propose four serious games for landslides. We, first review nine literature reviews on serious games (post-2002) that list and compare SGs based on different characteristics (for example: their (SG) effectiveness, or their roles for improving decision-making capacity, communication and spurring learning, or their alignment with Sustainability Development Goals). From these reviews, we identify 33 serious games developed to inform actions and inculcate skills or knowledge on natural hazards or disaster risk. We, then, carry out a systematic online-database search in Web of Science to identify 25 more natural hazard-based serious games, bringing the total to 58. For the 58 serious games, we compare the following characteristics: (a) year of game development; (b) game format; (c) player number; (d) target audience; (e) hazard studied; (f) vulnerability; (g) exposure; and (h) methodology followed to identify the game’s effectiveness. Based on our review, we identify 11 gaps in the serious game research area for natural hazards and DRR, of which the most important ones were: (i) limited literature describing how awareness, skills and knowledge are co-created using a serious game, i.e., the effectiveness of the game, and (ii) limited number of games on landslides, either as a standalone hazard or a part of multi-hazards.

Using the learnings from this review, we devise four ideas to develop a computer or board game for landslides in data-poor regions (we will focus on India): (i) a multiplayer game with an aim to explain different roles of stakeholders in landslide hazard management; (ii) a multiplayer game to explain the data collection process, and data flow needed to forecast landslides; (iii) a single or multiplayer game on identifying the interaction between different landslide-related variables; and (iv) a single player game on identifying the landslide risk and future actions. These four ideas involve different stakeholders as target participants, including local inhabitants, academics, government officials and scientists, private contractors, NGO workers, politicians. We further try to integrate these four ideas into one simple serious game and discover a pathway to quantify the effectiveness of this game. We believe that these four ideas also open an avenue for further research and work on serious games on landslides in data-poor regions.

How to cite: Choudhury, S., Malamud, B. D., and Donovan, A.: Serious game for landslides: a review of the literature reviews to fill an existing gap in serious game research, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1861, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1861, 2022.

Samuele Segoni

A role-playing game (RPG) was experimentally included in the teaching activities of the class “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA), which is part of two Master’s Degree programs (namely, “Human and Natural Sciences” and “Geological Sciences and Technologies”) of the University of Firenze.

The aim of the “EIA” class is to provide students with the basic technical elements to manage an environmental assessment procedure. The RPG was conceived with two objectives: putting in practice what was learnt during the class and preparing the students to face also the social and political issues commonly associated to relevant projects.

The RPG was about a public debate concerning the EIA procedure of the project for a geothermal plant. Each participant played the role of a character closely involved in the situation: the investor, the project manager, the mayor, an eco-radical, an environmental association, the winemakers (the main local economic activity), the local citizens’ committee, and so on. Each character had a specific goal to reach during the debate: the businessman had to convince the public of the feasibility of the project while minimizing the costs of environmental mitigation measures, the eco-radical had to try to block the project, the mayor was not interested in the project per-se but had to increase his consensus among the citizens, and so on.

The design of the game was complex, as the characters and their objectives were connected or separated by a complex network of personal interests (or ideological perspectives) that would oppose each player to some of the others, contemporarily providing the basis for potential alliances with some others. The gamers’ ability during the debate would be crucial to move the balance and to determine if the project will be accepted or not.

Experimentally, the game session was played twice (during the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 classes) and some preliminary outcomes were drawn.

Concerning the game design, it proved to be robust: the game outcome was totally in the hands of the players as confirmed by the opposite outcomes of the sessions played. The first session ended up with a “draw” between two ideologically opposed blocks that did not prevail on the other, leaving the destiny of the geothermal plant unresolved after the debate. During the second session, the “faction” favorable to the project was very effective to debate and managed to move toward acceptancy of the project some other characters (initially neutral or even moderately negative), mainly using mitigation measures to convince them.

Concerning the teaching experiment, it was considered fully successful. The feedback from the students was very positive, as both classes unanimously agreed on the following points: (i) the game was very useful to put into practice some of the concepts learnt during the theoretical lessons; (ii) the game was useful to understand how difficult is for a scientist/technician to deal with social and political aspects (thus the game represented a valuable complement to the main teaching activities); (iii) they enjoyed the game and recommended to repeat it for the next classes.

How to cite: Segoni, S.: Role-play gaming to teach “Environmental Impact Assessment” in Master’s Degree courses., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1548, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1548, 2022.

On-site presentation
Sebastian Lerch

In an effort to foster interdisciplinary and innovative teaching via a ‘gamification’ approach, a real-time forecasting challenge was organized during the winter term 2021/2022 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The main aim was to teach students about statistical methods, probabilistic forecasting and uncertainty quantification in a practical, real-world problem-oriented setup. Around 20 participants (mostly MSc-level students) from backgrounds in mathematics, economics, computer science and geosciences were tasked to provide probabilistic predictions of several targets, including temperature and wind speed at a local weather station in Karlsruhe, over 14 weeks during the semester. Real-time feedback was provided in the form of automated evaluation and rankings of the participants’ submissions, who were competing for a ‘Student Award’ sponsored by the International Institute of Forecasters. Efforts and problems in building and evaluating models were discussed in weekly virtual meetings.

In this presentation, I will discuss the setup and relevant design choices of the forecasting challenge, along with the main outcomes and lessons learned from the practical implementation in the context of the course. All relevant code and material are available as open educational resources.

How to cite: Lerch, S.: Lessons learned from organizing an in-classroom forecasting challenge for teaching uncertainty quantification , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1702, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1702, 2022.

On-site presentation
Davide Faranda

ClimarisQ is a smartphone/web game from a scientific mediation project that highlights the complexity of the climate system and the urgency of collective action to limit climate change. It is an app-game where players must make decisions to limit the frequency and impacts of extreme climate events and their impacts on human societies using real climate models. ClimarisQ has also an educational tool that helps to understand:

  • The urgency of collective action to limit the adverse effects of climate change (The importance of limiting greenhouse gas emissions).
  • The multiplicity of interacting climate components as well as the nonlinearities of the processes underlying climate dynamics (Delayed effects, amplification, rebound effects).
  • The problems of predicting and projecting extreme weather events (Unpredictable locations and timing but predictable frequencies).

Explore the effects of mitigation and adaptation choices to extreme climate events at the local, regional and global levels. Could you achieve a greener trajectory than the IPCC RCP 4.5 emission scenario? Explore the feedback mechanisms (notably physical, but also economic and social) that produce extreme effects on the climate system. Make decisions on a continental scale and see the impact of these decisions on the economy, politics and the environment. Deal with extreme events (heat waves, cold waves, heavy rainfall and drought) generated by a real climate model. Try to balance the “popularity”, “ecology” and “finance” gauges as long as possible. Fullfill all the missions to explore different climates.

The game-over displays both the PPM (parts per million) of CO2 deviation from the intermediate scenario of greenhouse gas emissions established by the IPCC (RCP4.5), as well as the number of survival game turns. These elements stimulate thinking about climate change and motivate the player to do better next time. Thanks to the hazards introduced by the extreme events and cards, every game is different!

Play/Download the game at: https://climarisq.ipsl.fr/en/  

also available in French/English and Italian

How to cite: Faranda, D.: ClimarisQ: a Smartphone game to highlight the complexity of the Climate Systems and the impacts of Extreme Events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1944, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1944, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Elizabeth Safran et al.

The Pacific Northwest of the United States is subject to devastating earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) but lacks a strong “earthquake culture.” Among the least prepared residents are 18-29-year-olds, who are left out of traditional messaging that targets either heads of households or small children. Video games resonate with the media consumption habits of this age group and put earthquake preparedness in an engaging problem-solving context. We conducted an experiment with 125 residents of Portland, Oregon in this age group to compare learning and motivation to prepare for earthquakes following up to 45 minutes of video game play vs. web searching. Our video game was custom-made by undergraduate programmers and informed by consultation with regional emergency managers, playtesting, and two focus group discussions. In the game, the player assumes the identity of three different characters over four levels, dealing with earthquake-related challenges at three different times: the period immediately surrounding the earthquake, one day later, and one week later. Each type of problem – avoiding injury, finding safe shelter, obtaining clean water, and managing human waste – has at least three solutions in the game. Participants in the web search condition were allowed to browse at will and were also offered three starter links to emergency management websites that included, but were not limited to, the information embedded in the game. Surveys were administered before and after the experiment task as well as three months later to assess learning as well as self-reported self-efficacy, intent to act, and  steps taken to prepare for various earthquake-related challenges. Participants in the game condition chose to perform the task significantly longer than those in the web search condition (31 vs. 19 minutes, p = 0.001) and found it significantly more enjoyable but also more challenging and frustrating (p = 0.01, 0.001, and 0.03, respectively). Game players perceived encountering a much higher percentage of new information than did web searchers (64% vs 45%, p = 0.001), with equal levels of trust in, and perceived reliability and applicability of, the information learned. Reported increases in self-efficacy around obtaining clean water and managing bodily waste were significantly higher (p = 0.05, and 0.001 respectively) among game players than web searchers immediately following the task. After three months, self-reported steps taken to prepare increased significantly for six out of eight specific actions among both game players and web searchers. The experiment suggests that video games can be more engaging than relevant web content and also effective at moving young adults toward earthquake preparedness.

How to cite: Safran, E., Drake, P., Nilsen, E., Sebok, B., Ballesteros, B., Paris, A., Parezanin, L., Pencl, E., Wood, S., Kraus, J., Kunz, S., and Udas, M.: Rehearsing Disaster: Can Video Games Help Young Adults Prepare for Earthquakes?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10987, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10987, 2022.

Karin Rebel et al.

A sustainable future is both dependent on and of the utmost importance for all people living on the planet. In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) as ‘a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’. Higher Education plays a critical role in achieving the SDG agenda as it engages students with the 17 goals both cognitively and affectively through research, teaching, collaboration with stakeholders, and campus practices. Achieving the ambitions described above requires innovative thinking and going beyond standard ways of curriculum development to account for how the goals affect students not just professionally but also personally. Hence, over the past 3 years, we developed a unique location-based, multiplayer mobile serious game: Utrecht2040. This game aims to teach students from all backgrounds and disciplines about key sustainability challenges in a systemic, interdisciplinary, and applied manner. Moreover, it aims to give them the tools to bring in their own personal and disciplinary perspective, and become agents of change. Utrecht2040 focuses on sustainability in urban contexts and can be played in any city.

So far, over 2000 students played the Utrecht2040 game, across different faculties and bachelor programs. Our research team has conducted pre- and post-questionnaires with a total number of 225 participants. The players reported a positive effect on their knowledge and appreciation of the SDGs as a proxy for sustainability, specifically in urban contexts, which was significant for all groups. Students also indicated that playing in a group and interacting with citizens gave them new insights about the future possibilities for the city as well as the motivation to act on these insights. Over the next years, we will extend the game to all bachelor students at Utrecht University, as well as to other universities at the (inter-)national level, e.g. within the European University CHARM-EU, an alliance of the European Universities Initiative, where they will play it in their master’s program ‘Global Challenges in Sustainability’.

How to cite: Rebel, K., Kasch, J., Dotinga, R.-A., Gilissen, H. K., Groenewolt, S., Hessels, P., Smeenk, T., Swart, J., Werning, S., and Vervoort, J.: Gaming towards a sustainable future, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11893, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11893, 2022.

David Crookall et al.

Over the last decade, the use of simulation, games and role-play have been gaining ground in ocean and climate literacy.  This session will describe and outline results from a particularly powerful, but underused, form of experiential learning format, called participatory simulation (PS).  It contains (elements of) game, simulation, role-play, experience, human interaction, decision-making, negotiation, stakeholder engagement, etc.  It is often large scale, open ended, goal and results oriented, free form and data driven.  Debriefing is a crucial component.

It is difficult to separate climate and ocean.  Without the ocean, the Earth would be an unliveable hothouse.  Without climate the ocean would hardly exist.  Our overarching goal, therefore, was to help participants understand the oceans-climate nexus and to become better ocean-climate-literate stakeholders.  The Inter- Oceans-Climate School (IOCS), France, has run two sessions so far (the last was three and a half days spread over three weeks, and the results are encouraging).  In our previous sessions, we welcomed participants from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe.  The IOCS is an official event of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, as part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Our presentation will describe the event and analyse results obtained from detailed feedback by participants.  Co-authors include both organizers and participants.  We will endeavour to answer your questions and entice you to participate in an upcoming session.

How to cite: Crookall, D., Promduangsri, P., and Promduangsri, P.: The Trilogy of Ocean, Climate and Coast: The Urgency and Exigency of Literacy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12144, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12144, 2022.

Virtual presentation
James M. Strout et al.

PHUSICOS-VR is a virtual reality experience to learn how nature-based solutions (NBS) can be used to mitigate natural hazards, including rock falls, floods, avalanches and agricultural run-off.  The game is set in real locations in Norway, Italy, France and Spain, and is a digital representation of actual demonstration sites in the EU project PHUSICOS (EU contract nr).  The underlying development strategy for PHUSICOS-VR was to create an interesting and fun pedagogical tool to learn about natural hazards, and the effect that NBS can have on both mitigating the hazard but also providing co-benefits such as improving biodiversity and creating public use spaces.  The primary audiences for the VR experience are the general public, politicians, planning authorities and other decision-makers.

Game development is more than programming, and during the fast-track production of PHUSICOS-VR the development team followed a SCRUM project philosophy and transitioned through creative phases and processes including audience/personas definitions, scientific content, pedagogical considerations, visual/audio expression, and of course the technical implementation in the UNITY engine to realize the game for the Oculus VR platform.  Covid19 has been an added complication, resulting in the entire development process running virtually – the core team never met as a complete group, and all development works were coordinated through collaborative platforms such as TEAMS and Miro Board.

This article will present the development phases in detail, describing the challenges encountered and solutions implemented to realize the PHUSICOS-VR game.  PHUSICOS-VR is currently under review for public release and will soon be available on the Oculus app store.  A browser version is also available.

How to cite: Strout, J. M., Kutsen, T. W., Solberg, A. S., and Verhoog, J.: PHUSICOS-VR: Using virtual reality to explore mitigation measures for geohazards, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12870, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12870, 2022.