Hazagora: will you survive the next disaster? – A serious game to raise awareness about geohazards and disaster risk reduction
- 1Physical Geography, Department of Geography, Earth System Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
- 2Cartography and GIS Research Group, Department of Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
- 3Natural Hazards Service, Department of Geology, Royal Museum for Central Africa and ANAGEO/IGEAT Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Abstract. Natural disasters are too often presented as resulting from extreme natural phenomena affecting helpless populations, with people being insufficiently aware of the factors leading to disasters and of the existing strategies to mitigate their impacts. We developed a board game aimed at raising awareness about geohazards and disaster risk reduction strategies. The target groups are (1) secondary school students and citizens and (2) scientists and stakeholders involved in risk management activities. For the first group, the aim is to induce a better understanding of the geohazards and disasters they are confronted with in the media or in their daily lives; for the second, the objective is to generate discussion about risk management strategies. The game was tested with students in Belgium and with citizens, earth scientists, and risk managers in several African countries. Based on analysis of the most common game strategies observed, the players' reactions during the game, and their answers to a short questionnaire, we analyzed the main learning outcomes conveyed by this game. The game Hazagora appears to positively enhance the players' insights into processes involved in disasters. As such, the game is an effective, fun learning tool to introduce participants to the concepts of geohazards and disasters and to generate discussion.