Ecojustice education resource

A team at the University of California in Davis, headed by Tom Maiorana, has developed a game that models evacuations in the face of wildfires. (Apparently there was a story about this game on National Public Radio (NPR), but I don’t listen to NPR and read about this online somewhere.) They’ve set up “Prototyping Resilience,” a website for the game.

As someone who has been doing ecojustice education on the side for nearly two decades now, as soon as I heard about this game my gut response was: Wow, what a great teaching resource. Then I has to stop and think about why this would be such a great teaching resource. First, the game raises awareness of a new phenomenon, massive wildfires, which result from climate change and to a certain extent from land use change. Second, the game empowers people to know what to do in case of a wildfire (i.e., it’s akin to the tabletop exercises long used in emergency prep circles). Third, the game educates people about community cooperation. Raising awareness, empowering, building community — all key precepts for ecojustice education.

Detail of a sheet of game instructions showing game tokens representing a wildfire.
Detail of the visual instructions for the game.

The current iterations of the game are specific to actual communities in California. But the game developers plan to have a generic “Evacuation Boardgame” ready by October, 2024. I signed up for the generic game using the “Game Request Form” link at the bottom of this webpage.

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