Sim games help reduce disaster risks – study

  • 8 June 2015, Monday

Source: The Philippine Star
7 Jun 2015

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – Computer simulation games (CSG) can enhance young people’s understanding of natural disasters, a study has showed.

Using CSG developed by the United Nations-International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, Rafael Saldaña of the Ateneo de Manila University assessed the effectivity of such games in improving the Filipino youth’s awareness of disaster preparedness, risk reduction and management.

The online game called “Stop Disasters!” featured five natural hazards, namely tsunami, hurricane, wildfire, earthquake and flooding.

Respondents of the study were teenagers from public and private high schools, college students from public and private universities and young professionals.

Titled “Computer Simulation Games for Disaster Risk Reduction,” the study becomes more significant when one considers that the Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, Saldaña said.

“This is due mainly to its geographic and geologic location and physical characteristics,” he explained, noting that the country is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Saldaña, an associate professor of mathematics and computing, also cited recent studies showing that the Philippines has one of the highest disaster risk indices worldwide as well as one of the highest number of people affected by natural disasters.

The research was presented at the Information and Communications Technology-Asia 2015 conference held recently at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

The regional conference was organized by the French government through its embassy in Manila headed by Ambassador Gilles Garachon and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was attended by 51 scientists from France and 14 Asian countries.

The forum centered on four themes relevant to ICT: climate change modeling and monitoring, applications to food security, disaster risk reduction, and urban and rural informatics.