Following the GALA experience, MAN is currently coordinating a serious game project entitled MEDGAME funded by the Romanian research organization UEFISCDI. The main objective of this project is to create a Serious Games Educational and Training Resource Centre for citizens that supports natural disaster-related scenarios. The MEDGAME motivation stems from the acknowledgment of the potentiality of Serious Games for education and training and the need to address the challenges related to the citizens’ behaviour before, during and after emergency situations. The aim of this project is to educate citizens in an innovative, highly immersive environment and in an engaging manner to achieve proper knowledge, skills and attitudes on how to behave in emergency situations, especially natural disaster related crisis, such as floods. The project uses a concept design aiming at building a basic documentation for a game framework that joins a game engine, game mechanics, fun, challenges, pedagogy, psychology and neuroscience, to make the final game be an educational output in the field of citizens’ education to enable them face emergency situations caused by different natural hazards. It is developed along three major axes:
- Social view: contribution to the development of a civic attitudinal behaviour as an individual or community in case of emergency situations
- Educational and training view: shape the non-formal adult learning and heterogeneous learners’ abilities within an educational and training framework, to develop knowledge and soft skills for citizens to change the behaviour before, during and after natural disasters.
- Technological view: leverage the existing capabilities and e-learning infrastructure gained through a previous project MEDSCEN, by adding Serious Game functionalities both in terms of generic game mechanisms and a full game.
The MEDGAME project benefits from the partners experience gained in running the MEDSCEN project where an eLearning system was created to provide educational content to citizens. Looked at from this perspective, the MEDGAME project comes to build on all the resource and experience resources from the previous project, bringing new horizons for knowledge in applying pedagogy, psychology, neuro – science tools to build educational games. As shown below, we address a higher level of instruction and educational offer, by embedding games and risk-scenarios onto the portal.
Figure 1. MEDGAME Conceptual Framework
The project will integrate its activities and resources in a long-term view and it will offer capabilities to support the public institutions in preparing the population and communities to face the emergency situations.