Games have the power to ignite imaginations and place you in someone else's shoes or situation, often forcing you into making decisions from perspectives other than your own. This makes them potentially powerful tools for communication, through use in outreach, disseminating research, in education at all levels, and as a method to train the public, practitioners and decision makers in a order to build environmental resilience. This session is a chance to share your experiences and best practice with using games to communicate geosciences, be they analogue, digital and/or serious games.

Convener: Christopher Skinner | Co-conveners: Rolf Hut, Sam Illingworth, Elizabeth Lewis, Jazmin Scarlett
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

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Chat time: Thursday, 7 May 2020, 16:15–18:00

Chairperson: Chris Skinner
D3529 |
Petra Žvab Rožič, Nina Valand, Helena Gabrijelčič Tomc, Jože Guna, Žiga Fon, and Rok Brajković

Application RockCheck (original version KamenCheck in Slovenian) was developed as an e-learning material, which can be used for teaching and learning geological contents in formal and non-formal education. Our aim was to create the teaching aid that will contribute to the improvement and quality of teaching and learning of basic geological contents within natural science subjects. It was created to be used in classrooms, as an additional motivation tool combined with active learning methods, and also in challenges for lessons in nature. Since the application uses the approach of experimental and observational based learning no pre-existing knowledge is needed, and users can determine names of typical rocks only by following the app's instructions.

The application consists of three main chapters  whose contents are interrelated. The main chapter presents the Rock key where through a simple decision key, by answering the question with yes or no, the user identifies the name of the individual rock. The application enables independent research by observing and experimenting with using simple tools. The other two chapters, Encyclopaedia and School of rock, help the user to enable further learning about rocks in general, about their appearance, formation and usage as well as help to understand geological concepts and procedures. The contents of the chapters are cautiously connected with the links. The last two chapters are a crucial support for planning and teaching the geological contents and present also the good base for preparing active learning challenges. All contents within the application were carefully designed and based on learning objectives of the Slovenian curriculum.

As an important project upgrade the interactive and experimental workshop was created which provides an insight to use the application as a learning aid. The workshop provides the examples and concepts of how the teachers through experiential learning can teach geology and thus increase the understanding and sustainability of knowledge. In order to actively involve the participants in the learning process, the workshop covers a variety of challenges that are addressed through different teaching methods. Besides, the special interactive learning sheets were created, which were designed with a specific goal and level. We also created a  board game called RockGame. It uses the RockCheck app for solving challenges and answering questions in the game. The main aim of the RockGame is to raise awareness about the topic of raw materials. Trough gamification pupils learn about geologist’s role in the raw material value chain. We did so by including the connection between minerals, rocks, raw mineral resources and final products in the game.

The application was made within the student project StoneKey (call "On the creative path to knowledge 2017-2020"). The project involved 9 students of different degrees and study programs, three teaching mentors and a working mentor from the company DigiEd. The project was co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Social Fund.  The application was later upgraded and translated within the EU project RM@Schools 3.0. funded by the European Institute of Innovation and technology.

How to cite: Žvab Rožič, P., Valand, N., Gabrijelčič Tomc, H., Guna, J., Fon, Ž., and Brajković, R.: RockCheck the rocks – innovative pedagogical approaches for active learning about rock , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4749, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4749, 2020.

D3530 |
Junko Iwahashi, Yoshiharu Nishioka, Daisaku Kawabata, Akinobu Ando, Shinsuke Okada, and Takahisa Shiraishi

In this presentation, we report science classes in which the purpose was to learn the history of local geology, and a workshop to learn the relationship between landforms and natural hazards using Minecraft. Minecraft (Mojang/Microsoft) is a sandbox computer game for exploration and crafting in 3-D virtual worlds. It is very popular among the young generation (100 million users in the world), and by using the game it is easy to construct virtual worlds and exploration mechanisms. The science classes were conducted twice for students aged 12 to 13 in a junior high school in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Using Minecraft, we have constructed a virtual world tailored to their school, including the school buildings and paleoenvironments. In the game, students travel around the school buildings to learn and to solve basic knowledge questions based on references from their school science textbooks, then they go to the underground strata and into past worlds to learn and to solve advanced questions which refer to papers on regional geology. A questionnaire which was given to over 150 students after the first class showed that the students enjoyed the class and obtained a general understanding of geological knowledge. The second class was based on a reviced game after referring to the results of the questionnaire. In the workshop, we used a 3-D topographic model of Japanese flood plains and surrounding terraces and mountains. This example was conducted for 15 to 18-year-old students as a workshop with a small number of students, less than 10. At first, we explained to the students how landforms are associated with natural hazards such as flooding and earthquake shaking, and explained how to find and view thematic maps like hazard maps that could be observed as interactive web maps published by Japanese public agencies and institutes. Next, the students were asked where they wanted to build a house on the virtual terrain. Through their constructions, we considered the balance between playing and learning. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP18K18548.

How to cite: Iwahashi, J., Nishioka, Y., Kawabata, D., Ando, A., Okada, S., and Shiraishi, T.: Report on science classes and a workshop for teen students to learn geography and geology using Minecraft, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12516, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12516, 2020.

D3531 |
Valeria Misiti, Daniela Riposati, Francesca Di Laura, and Massimo Crescimbene

TheEarth is a fascinating place that host wonders such as volcanoes, rivers, deserts and more.Our idea has been that to produce a scientific game named GEOTrivial which is a tool to learn more about the amazing world of geosciences by enjoying.

Based on the enthusiasticfeedback obtained with “Escape Volcano” project (presented last year at the EGU 2019)and the success in the schools where we presented it, the next step encouraged us to develope a new project.

The graphic realization of all elements of the new GeoTrivial game (board, cards, dice) was developed within the INGV by the Laboratorio Grafica e Immagini.

Graphic is a fundamental support for the game production because every elements have been deeply studied creating icons similar to the social ones, to create a familiar connection for people. The use of a particular lettering, that strongly connoted the visual aspects, in the main components of the game, is dictated by the need to create a dominant visual element of the entire project that conveys a sense of dynamism, of freedom, but also lightness.

Basically the game revisit the classic trivial but on the game board volcanoes, epicenters and a drop of water are reported to direct immerse the players on the earth planet science. The game can be played as a team or single player (from 2 to 24 players).The game board is shaped like a 3-spoke wheel. Player begin at the center rolling the die. When the player reach the space then a different player draws the card and reads the question. The player move forward in any direction, but he can never retrace the steps on the same roll. Two player may occupy the same space. There are 4 answers on the card but only one is correct; the opponent team read the question and the answers. Player the land on the center square may choose the color he/they wish the question to be read from. He/they may not know the questions before choosing the color.

The player may continue to roll as long as he keep answering the questions correctly; there is no limit. If the answer is incorrect, then the turn passes to the left. “Roll again” spaces allow to move the die again without answering any questions.

Once the token is complete the player must try to land on the center space where the game started. The opponents decide the category you are to answer from before the look at the card. If the player/s answer the final question successfully he/they win the game.

This new game belongs to an editorial project dedicated by the INGV to education and outreach.


How to cite: Misiti, V., Riposati, D., Di Laura, F., and Crescimbene, M.: GEOTRIVIAL PURSUIT: discovering the earth planet, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4986, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4986, 2020.

D3532 |
David Crookall and Nicolas Becu

Title:  Companion modelling and participatory simulation: A glimpse

David Crookall (1) and Nicolas Becu (2)

(1) Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, France; (2) LIttoral ENvironnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), La Rochelle, France.

Simulation/games are ‘usually’ used to communicate science, such as in educational, environment or government organizations.  Another developing use is to help organizations to solve problems or make decisions.  Two successful and related simulation/gaming approaches, called companion modelling (ComMod) and participatory simulation (PS), have been developed over the last two decades, and constitute fairly elaborate decision-making aides and problem-solving tools.

Both approaches involve the full collaboration of stakeholders in the evolving development of a model and a simulation, in participating and in debriefing.  The underlying aim is usually to explore the relations among stakeholders (society) and between them and their environment.  For example, they have been used to help two communities in conflict over natural resources, to give authorities and inhabitants the opportunity to discuss and decide about coastal erosion and habitats or to help local authorities explore alternative coastal flood prevention measures.

They have also been used to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the same territory to discuss and analyse their varied visions, objectives and interactions.  Indeed, some forms of these tools can be used to help organizations, such local authorities and professional groups, to discuss ideas on possible futures, to explore scenarios for marine policy or for flood planning, to generate ideas for a new constitution or ministerial policy.

ComMod generally entails building a model of socio-ecological interactions (maybe computerized), which underlies participation in a large-scale role-play with stakeholders who have contributed to the design.  Often the design process takes several meetings (each of two to three days or more) over a period of several weeks or even months: this is both a strength and a weakness.  The model is usually developed with agent-based modelling (ABM) tools.  One such computer tool is ‘Common Pool Resources and Multi-Agent Systems’ (CORMAS), designed specifically as a support tool for ComMod; another is NetLogo.

PS overlaps to a large degree with, and is sometimes seen as an offshoot of, ComMod.  One main difference is that does not necessarily use ComMod (i.e., a model built with stakeholders and/or an ABM).  A PS in this sense tends to be easier to develop and implement because its design does not require as much toing and froing between stakeholders and facilitators.  A PS tends to capture emerging phenomena and trace developing relations in regard to social, industrial and territorial resources and demands on those resources; it can manifest a fairly powerful forecasting or future projection element.

Our session will provide a small glimpse of the rationale behind the two strands and illustrate several ways in which they have been used effectively.  We will also provide a resource list of references, associations and training opportunities.

How to cite: Crookall, D. and Becu, N.: Companion modelling and participatory simulation: A glimpse, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8968, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8968, 2020.

D3533 |
Kelly Stanford and Chris Skinner

Engaging the public with research and environmental issues can be challenging due to the complexity of the topics and pre-existing misconceptions. Independently, interdisciplinary approaches such as sci-art and games have shown some promise for engaging people with complex and unfamiliar issues. This raises the question: Can the two be paired together for the better?

This project aims to see if sci-art and card games can be used together as a more effective and enjoyable way to engage people with environmental issues, as well as inspiring interest in science more generally. It also seeks to find out if art can influence the retention of information when paired up with the card game format.

To test this, we designed a card game that uses varying levels and styles of art to engage people with issues around flooding and climate change. An open international invite has recruited a large number of participants to take part in the study. In the study, participants are given a random version of the game to play and afterwards, and asked to complete a short questionnaire related to the game’s topics. This is supported with targeted facilitated sessions at university campuses, outreach and public events across the UK.

The results will demonstrate whether combining sci-art and card games in combination improves on just using either on their own. These are expected to vary depending on a number of factors, including what version of the game was played, the demographic playing the game and the location.


How to cite: Stanford, K. and Skinner, C.: Resilience - Combining Sci-Art and card games for more effective public engagement, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9987, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9987, 2020.

D3534 |
Marc Vis, Ilja van Meerveld, and Jan Seibert

Serious games can be useful to teach students about real-world challenges. Here we present a first prototype of the online game 'Staudamm'. In this game, each player operates a multi-purpose water reservoir. The goal is to optimize revenues from the dam by balancing flood protection, electricity production, and irrigation-water supply, while fulfilling the minimal requirements for environmental flows. For flood protection, an almost empty reservoir would be optimal, whereas for electricity production and irrigation-water supply a fully filled reservoir would be preferable for at least at some time during the year. While there are some seasonal patterns in the inflows to the reservoir, balancing the different objectives is difficult, as one never exactly knows how much water will enter the reservoir. The game illustrates the difficulty in balancing multiple objectives, as well as the use of uncertain predictions in decision-making. In this poster presentation, we present the first prototype of the game and ask for suggestions for improvements and extensions.

How to cite: Vis, M., van Meerveld, I., and Seibert, J.: Staudamm – a serious game on water reservoir management, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11420, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11420, 2020.

D3535 |
Lisa Gallagher, Abram Farley, Sebastien Jourdain, Patrick O'Leary, Laura Condon, and Reed Maxwell

The Integrated Groundwater Modeling Center is a small research center with a focus on hydrological research and a mission to develop and promote education and outreach in our community. We believe that students of all ages learn better when learning is fun, social, and hands-on. We strive to develop games that will immerse and educate users in geoscience concepts by collaborating closely with computer scientists and software engineers. For the work presented here, we have partnered with the University of Arizona and Kitware, Inc., blending technologies and expertise to develop a game to teach hydrogeology concepts.

We have developed an interactive computer simulation of a physical teaching model for students. This computer simulation has a game-like web browser-based interface but builds upon open source software components developed by Kitware (e.g. ParaView and SimPut) executing the integrated hydrology model ParFlow, using a framework built upon the widely used Python scripting language. Students run the simulation using a familiar web-app like interface with sliders and buttons yet are learning real hydrologic concepts and can compare to the physical model. Here, we will present this interactive toolkit and the physical sand tank aquifer model on which it’s based.

How to cite: Gallagher, L., Farley, A., Jourdain, S., O'Leary, P., Condon, L., and Maxwell, R.: Collaboration for gaming: Partnership between hydrologists, computer scientists, and educators to develop an educational geoscience game, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11849, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11849, 2020.

D3536 |
Giuliana D'Addezio, Valerio Lombardo, Stefania Conte, and Anna De Santis

Geophysics is the application of the laws and techniques of physics to disclose knowledge about the Earth’s dynamic processes and subsurface structure. It explores phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis to improve our understanding of the Earth’s physical processes. Effective mitigation of risks from catastrophic geophysics hazards requires knowledge and understanding of natural processes. Scientific divulgation deals with the communication of knowledge previously produced in scientific contexts to a non-expert massive audience.  One of the difficulties science divulgators need to overcome is to explain specific concepts, even complex, from a given discipline in a language simple and understandable, maintaining scientific correctness, and enhance skills, knowledge and competences of their interlocutors.

Considering that, nowadays, digital technologies play a large role in young people’s lives and games are directly connected to the life of adolescents, we realized an educational videogame to teach geophysics and Earth sciences to low and high-school students; an educational computer game, serious game, where electronic medium with all the characteristic of a gaming environment convey formative outcomes. The starting point is that technologies are systems of open possibilities that can be effectively integrated with innovative methods of education necessary to promote more effective, efficient, attractive and durable learning. In fact, the ardour and enthusiasm that digital games evoke in teenagers has brought many researchers, school leaders and teachers to the question “how video games” can be used to engage young people and support their learning.

A first stage of the project of Virtual Reality, "Journey inside the volcano", were presented at several scientific divulgative events, such as the ESA Living Planet Symposium, The National Geographic Festival delle Scienze, the September 29th INGV Open Day, involving more that a thousand users and receiving appreciation from the public. We present the serious game and the relate appreciation analysis based on guestbook comments compiled at the end of the experience. The comments reveal a great level of appreciation, involvements and emotions, and margins of improvement. The results foster us to improve the project developing other geophysical topics.

How to cite: D'Addezio, G., Lombardo, V., Conte, S., and De Santis, A.: DiG-DAG: Didactic Game for Divulgation of Understandable Geophysics , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13234, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13234, 2020.