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Paper convr-2013-40:
Flood game: an alternative approach for disaster education

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Wen M-C,Tsai M-H,Kang S-C,Chang Y-L

Flood game: an alternative approach for disaster education

Abstract: Flooding is a frequent disaster in typhoon season in Taiwan nearly every year. To prevent flooding, the decision-makers need to invest in costly constructions, such as embankments and disaster parks. They also need to carefully allocate resources, such as sand bags and pumps, to minimize the damage caused by the heavy rain during a typhoon. This paper presents an ongoing disaster education project, for disaster education for which we designed a flood game allowing high school students to play the role of the decision makers. We based the flood game on the popular “tower defense game,” in which players need to allocate limited resources before and during random attacks because the decision behaviors are very similar between the decision makers of flood prevention and the players of tower defense. The flood game has two independent goals: happiness index and money. The happiness index represents the citizens’ satisfaction. The money is a subtraction of the construction items from the total tax income. If the city is well protected, the tax income will increase and vice versa. The players need to wisely allocate the money to build the necessary facilities around the riverside in the right places and at the right time to maximize efficiency of the expenditure. We included six common construction items for flood prevention, including sand bags, pumps, dikes, disaster parks, green roofs, and green streets. We also developed six levels for the game, from the easiest (only one available construction item) to the most difficult (six available construction items) to help players progressively learn the game. If the city resists attacks from heavy rain successfully, the players can pass the level and proceed to the next one. To validate the use of the game, we tested the game with 148 high school students and found that it cannot only increase their interest in learning but also help students understand the complexity of flood prevention for the decision-makers. In the near future, we will develop follow-up teaching materials and videos to leverage the learning outcome after playing the game.

Keywords: Game-Based Learning,Interactive Game,Flood Defense,Education

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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