Games

Get Educated; Be Prepared; Have Fun

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super-volcano-game

Most of the digital games we play are based on fantasy and fantastic situations.  However, there is a class of games that are based on real-life possibilities however long the odds of any of the actual events happening in our lifetimes.  A super volcano, earthquake, or tsunami may be as remote a possibility as turning casino bonuses online into a million dollar progressive jackpot but it does happen and those natural disasters have happened in the past as well.

What better way to get the thrill of gameplay than by playing games based on reality rather than fantasy?

Super Volcano Game

This game was developed by the BBC.  It begins when the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park in the western United States is about to erupt.  This is a real super volcano that geologists say erupts about every 600,000 years and last erupted more than 600,000 years ago.

It is the perfect horror story for a real-life disaster game.

If the supervolcano did erupt without warning, it would kill many thousands of people and prevent thousands of others from getting to safety in time.  However, geologists say that Yellowstone will show signs of an imminent eruption giving residents and tourists enough time to get far away.

The game is intended for average people as a warning to always be prepared for such a catastrophe and for the many people who will need to help in evacuations and aid to the injured after the eruption.

This game develops awareness of the dangers that lurk around us but has the advantage of being about a danger that may not strike for hundreds or thousands of years.  Unlike many games, players develop real-world skills rather than merely the ability to manipulate computer-generated figures.

Hurricane Strike

This is another game that seeks to educate young people about preparedness for a natural disaster but is worth playing for older people as well.  We all know that many people ignore evacuation orders and not always or even occasionally because of a reluctance to follow government orders.  Some people are just stubborn.

Hurricanes strike in all tropical areas and often in areas north of the tropics.  They can have powerful winds, torrential rain, and a devastating storm surge.  In the Pacific Ocean, they are called typhoons and in Australia, they have the colorful name willy but they are all the same idea: a vast area of strong winds and heavy rain.

How do people prepare for a hurricane?  If you live in a building that can sustain the winds and not be flooded in the storm surge, you still need water and food to last at least a week if you choose to stay put.  You might need a small generator to provide electricity since electrical grids are so easily disrupted in a natural disaster.

Remember to have all the medicines you normally take on hand plus a first aid kit to treat minor injuries.

Tsunami

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has developed less a game than a primer on how to prepare for the possibility of a tsunami.  Tsunamis usually form when an underwater earthquake lifts the water in the ocean and sends it in concentric circles at very high speeds.

If a tsunami warning is sounded, people may have minutes to hours to get to high ground or the higher floors of a building.  However, as in all natural disasters, the challenge for survival doesn’t end when the tsunami ends.  People need food, water, a generator, and medical supplies as the barest minimum to be able to survive the aftermath of a tsunami.

The aftermath of a tsunami requires one type of preparedness but the action a person needs to take when the warning is sounded requires another type of preparedness entirely.  The Woods Hole tsunami game is a great aid in developing the quick thinking that will save lives in the event of a tsunami while also helping people prepare an emergency kit and emergency supplies for an event that may never happen.

Awareness and Preparedness

There is an earthquake board game designed for people aged 5 to 7.  Not every game is appropriate for an adult gaming audience.  But awareness and preparedness are always important and it is important to teach your kids and other young people how to react quickly in a natural disaster.

The reason it’s so much better to do it through gameplay than through dry teaching is obvious. People of all ages respond well to games.

Chances of a Disaster Happening

Depending on where you live the chances of a major earthquake may be high or quite low.  Similarly, the risk of a volcanic explosion depends on how close you are to a volcano.  Major storms hit almost everywhere in the world. A blizzard can cripple an area for days as can a hurricane.  Tornadoes usually rampage through open areas but all too often do their damage in towns and cities.

So, teaching ourselves and our kids how to be strong and prepared is as important, if not more so, as teaching them how to get better at the standard computer games.  In these “games” the two activities come together.

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