Stop Disasters 2.0: Video Games as Tools to Foster Participation in Learning

Authors: Anthony Gampell*, The University of Auckland, JC Gaillard, The University of Auckland, Meg Parsons, The University of Auckland
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Hazards and Vulnerability, Geography Education
Keywords: Disaster, DRR, Video Games, Learning Theory, Constructivism, Participation, Education, Popular Culture
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Increasing popularity of disaster themed video games has signalled a significant research area for disaster studies. Preliminary disaster video game research suggested such games have an ability to convey messages of disaster and disaster risk reduction (DRR), including portrayals of hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities. Disaster video games also demonstrate the potential to integrate into how people learn and understand not only disasters, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and the recovery process, but also broader social, political, cultural and economic discourses. Yet, research into the usage of disaster video games for DRR is limited, however is of increasing importance as the world moves further into the digital and technological age. Conceptually, disaster video games as learning tools should not focus solely upon educational or serious games, but additionally include mainstream video games, which do actually portray disaster concepts and discourses, without intending to build disaster awareness. Thereby demonstrating how both formal and informal pathways to education are important to consider, especially in regards to how players utilise and consume the information presented to them. Just as society’s interaction with technology is evolving, methods of teaching, building awareness and learning also require evolution and adaptation. Hence, although the presentation is firmly situated within disaster studies, collaboration of broader scholarship and theories surrounding participation, constructivism-learning theory, video games and popular culture are required in order to explore the ability of disaster video games as learning tools to foster participation in learning about disaster and DRR.

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