Flash Flood!: a textSeriousGeoGames activity combining science festivals, video games, and virtual reality with research data for communicating flood risk and geomorphology

Skinner, Chris

The risk of flooding around the world is large and increasing, yet in many areas there is still a difficulty in engaging the public with their own flood risk. Geomorphology is a science that is linked to flooding and can exacerbate risks, but awareness of the science with the public is low and declining within academia. To increase awareness, it is important to engage the public directly with the science and those who are working to reduce flood risks – this starts by inspiring people to seek out further information through positive experiences of the science and researchers. Here, a new design model is presented to engage the public with specific research projects by using useful components offered by the popular mediums of games, virtual reality (VR), and science festivals to allow the public to get “hands on” with research data and models: SeriousGeoGames. A SeriousGeoGames activity, Flash Flood!, was developed around real geomorphology survey data to help engage the public with a flood-risk-related research project by placing them in a river valley as it undergoes a geomorphically active flooding from an intense rainfall event. Flash Flood! was exhibited at two science-focussed events, and formal evaluation was captured using a short questionnaire, finding that the majority of audience had a positive interaction (95.1 %) and wanted to know more about flooding (68.0 %) and geomorphology (60.1 %). It is hoped these interactions will increase the likelihood that future engagements with relevant agencies will be more fruitful, especially when it matters most.

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Skinner, Chris: Flash Flood!: a SeriousGeoGames activity combining science festivals, video games, and virtual reality with research data for communicating flood risk and geomorphology. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Chris Skinner

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