Educating youths and adults about disaster awareness information in the past is uninspiring, often one is drowning in complex concepts, terminologies, and technicalities while coasting along a day or three days of workshops which would have not been better than the alternative, reading the manual. These types of capacity development has its place, but I’m proposing an alternative tool for disaster awareness education that progressive educators believe in, which is engaging learners through simulated play in teaching ideas. Would you rather have fun playing a board game that will introduce you to disaster risks, hazards, and humanitarian action? or would you be cold and disengaging while you lecture somebody about the details of DRR? The choice is yours, but if you want to have fun while learning about disasters with your friends, family, and organization. Please support the crowdfunding campaign at the spark project here: https://www.thesparkproject.com/projects/view/Civil-Defense-The-Board-Game! 😀
The boardgame was first conceptualized during one of the many sleepless nights while I was on temporary duty as an assistant humanitarian area coordinator in Palo, Leyte; during the Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda disaster. Having nothing to pass the time in my tent (other than drinking cases of beer), I thought about an entertaining way to teach disaster awareness that would be fun to play and at the same time educational that families, private organizations, students, and government agencies can enjoy. This idea kept haunting me until I finally sketched out the first prototype a few months after returning from my deployment. Two years of development, a seed grant, and a few play testing later gave birth to the first prototype. Currently in its fourth iteration, the boardgame is constantly evolving in response to player feedback and professional suggestions to improve the design and gameplay. But now is in its most playable and learnable edition available. Together we can play, learn, and survive to be resilient Filipinos. For a limited time, this is your opportunity now to take part in this game changing boardgame about hazards, risks, disasters, and humanitarian action.
The Goal (Scheme):
- This boardgame will put you in the shoes of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action professionals. By supporting this project, not only will you enjoy hours of fun with friends, family, and strangers; but also, help us spread this alternative approach to engaging youths and adults in becoming advocates of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action. The days of boring powerpoints and sit down lectures are over. Tangential experiential learning that espouses the use of full sensory experience as an effective teaching method is found in this game.
- This project aims to release the first commercial print of the boardgame to the world. Further, this is in support of raising funds to conduct public game workshops to most at risk areas in the country while using the boardgame as an alternative teaching tool for disaster awareness activities. Together we can create a community of people learning and doing disaster awareness & humanitarian action. And in the future maybe a national competition to see who is the best at Civil Defense the Boardgame!
The Man (Board Game Creator):
Mr. Francis Josef C. Gasgonia is a professional Environmental Planner that specializes in Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Planning currently involved in developing plans for local government units and private real estate developers as well as developing alternative tools for disaster education and spatial planning.