Creating resilient societies for the future is child’s play for GW4 academics

February 27, 2019

The Resilience Games: creating resilient societies for the future by exploring the opportunities for game-based learning in childhood education.

Funded through the GW4 Crucible programme, The Resilience Games project examines the potential for game-based learning to engage future generations with the complex challenge of creating resilient societies in an ever-changing world, faced with hazards, climate change and natural resource depletion. As part of this research, a workshop was held on Tuesday 19th February to bring together a range of GW4 researchers across various disciplines (including game science/development, geography, civil/hydraulic engineering, renewable energy, psychology and the arts), and a practitioner in primary education, to discuss ideas for the initial conceptual design of “The Resilience Games”.

The workshop challenged participants to think about the key features of resilience (such as the ability to survive and thrive), and how these may be communicated through game-based approaches. To get into the creative headspace, participants were confronted with a zombie apocalypse and asked to develop a survival plan! Attendees also played “Home & Dry” with Katie Kirk from Golden Tree Productions – an interactive game to stimulate discussions about flood resilience amongst local communities and flood risk management professionals. Drawing inspiration from the research findings so far and a thrilling talk on “Making escape rooms for learning” by Dr Panagiotis Fotaris (University of Brighton), the participants were divided into small groups and tasked with creating their version of The Resilience Games. Several ideas were presented, ranging from an app-based game to ‘make sure the taps don’t run dry’, a gamified approach for a classroom settings, and a computer game set on a ‘forbidden island’, through to an escape room in ‘the forgotten valley’.

Moving forwards, the project team will synthesise the research findings so far and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different game-based approaches to help inform the conceptual design of The Resilience Games. Follow the project on Twitter @DrMeg_Alexander and #TheResilienceGames.