Institute for Economic and Environmental Policy                                                                                                       Member of network of academics

Serious gaming in flood risk management

How serious gaming can contribute to ongoing discussions concerning the shift to more holistic and governance-based flood resilience perspectives?

Serious gaming is increasingly used to explore important real-world problems and a growing number of serious games are addressing flood-related issues. However, there has been limited synthesis of these attempts and their contributions to the ongoing shift toward a more holistic and governance-based flood resilience perspective in flood risk management (FRM). This international review collates and analyses these attempts in order to develop a knowledge base of serious gaming in the field of FRM. It contains 37 games that were developed with different rationales that include engaging players in the topic of FRM, supporting practice by exploring future options through collaboration, improving communication of FRM, as educational tools, and to collect research data. The gameplay countries and player characteristics, game characteristics, relevance to FRM, game rationales, and collection of data are explored in this paper. Identified serious games provided an unconventional and entertaining approach to engage stakeholders on flood-related issues. The review analysed the serious games in light of the shift toward flood resilience and identified limitations in the documentation of serious games and their potential in understanding the longer-term impacts of gameplay on players. Furthermore, the vast majority of reviewed games were played in a single country and missed out on understanding the cultural production and perspectives of FRM that could support cross-cultural learning and inspiration for future FRM strategies. Overall, the review identified an important role for serious games in the shift toward governance and the adoption of more holistic flood resilience perspectives.

Reference: Forrest, S. A.; Kubíková, M.; Macháč, J. (2022). Serious gaming in flood risk management. WIREs WATER 9(4).

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