RIT researchers create serious games to teach disaster management and resilience skills
Situations such as the coronavirus pandemic have heightened interest in the importance of disaster management and mitigation. At Rochester Institute of Technology, researchers have created two new serious games that could be used as important learning tools for solving these world problems.
A group of RIT professors, students and National Science Foundation-funded college students from across the country have developed serious geographic information systems (GIS) games for disaster resilience research. The games aim to teach general audiences, emergency managers and first responders about spatial thinking skills and how they can help communities withstand and recover from disasters.
“There is a lack of spatial thinking in the emergency practice right now, even though it can be really useful for identifying vulnerable populations, moving people to safe locations and learning about how disasters impact areas,” said Brian Tomaszewski, lab director of RIT’s Center for Geographic Information Science and Technology who led the projects. “I think using gamification to make learning spatial thinking more engaging is a great way to get people thinking.”