SunLive – Gaming tech used to help prepare for disasters

Skills discovered taking part in video video games, constructing digital worlds and dodging imaginary enemies could possibly be harnessed to help individuals survive actual life hazards.In a novel collaboration, researchers from the University of Canterbury are creating video games as a device to educate in regards to the risks of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunamis – and what to do once they occur.University of Canterbury Professor of Physical Volcanology Ben Kennedy says New Zealand, together with many different nations, faces a rising threat from environmental and pure disasters. “Many individuals dwell and work in areas which are susceptible to pure hazards. “We hope to use utilized recreation design and immersive know-how, akin to digital actuality (VR), to talk these dangers to the broader group and help individuals perceive and prepare for pure disasters.”He says gaming is more and more being used as a instructing device as a result of it’s accessible and fascinating, notably for younger individuals, and it bridges totally different cultures.“Perhaps sooner or later we are able to think about a state of affairs the place taking part in a recreation might help somebody know what to do throughout a pure catastrophe. Kind of like a film the place the child who is sweet at laptop video games saves the day.”Professor Kennedy, within the School of Earth and Environment, is collaborating with Associate Professor Heide Lukosch, of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab), and Dr Simon Hoermann, from the School of Product Design in a brand new analysis group referred to as Learning for Earth Ako Futures (LEAF) which goals to discover new methods to educate individuals about pure hazards.“An important a part of the collaboration is harnessing what we learn about how college students be taught so as to create partaking and efficient instructional video games,” Professor Kennedy says.The initiative is gaining momentum because the three researchers have not too long ago obtained a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Grant below the lead of GNS Science as a part of the “Beneath the Waves” analysis programme.This challenge goals to assess dangers from volcanic island hazards to assist response and forecasting sooner or later.Applied video games might be used to illustrate the dangers of volcano hazards together with tsunamis, ash fall and pyroclastic flows on the east coast of New Zealand.The scientific findings might be shared with various audiences utilizing gaming applied sciences that incorporate mātauranga Māori. Dr Craig Miller, a GNS Science Volcano Geophysicist, says it’s an thrilling alternative to work with UC.“We’re utilizing progressive strategies to talk the outcomes of our scientific work to an viewers that historically could be laborious to attain”.The University of Canterbury trio of researchers have already labored collectively on an academic recreation which was integrated into Professor Kennedy’s Massive Open Online Course, “Exploring Volcanoes and their Hazards”, which had greater than 900 customers, right here and abroad, in its first 12 months.
In the sport, college students get to select a path for a blob of magma named Rua by means of the Earth’s crust, studying about magma experiments and volcanic hazards alongside the way in which. It’s designed to illustrate how understanding the processes beneath the Earth can help predict the type of volcanic eruptions.University of Canterbury Master of Human Interface Technology (MHIT) scholar Amir Pourgolmohammadgolshani is engaged on one other gaming challenge creating interactive and genuine visualisations of volcano eruption eventualities on Mt Ruapehu for a spread of various customers, from Department of Conservation employees to college college students.“An thrilling a part of this challenge for me is that I get to use my expertise to develop a device that may help everybody,” Pourgolmohammadgolshani says.The spectacular visualisations that Pourgolmohammadgolshani has created are based mostly on practical hazard fashions and eventualities that might be vetted by analysis scientists who work on Mt Ruapehu. The recreation goals to help customers higher perceive the chance and areas of influence that volcanic hazards can have on Mt Ruapehu.Associate Professor Lukosch is working with one other MHIT scholar, Helen Treffer, on a VR recreation to illustrate the dangers of earthquakes in a family surroundings.This recreation goals to elevate consciousness of the necessity for catastrophe preparation at house.Together with University of Canterbury worldwide PhD scholar, Misha Mirza, Associate Professor Lukosch can be exploring using augmented actuality (AR) to help talk the dangers of pure disasters akin to flooding and earthquakes.There are many recreation-based mostly purposes within the catastrophe threat-administration area,” Associate Professor Lukosch says.“However, we’re utilizing immersive applied sciences in new methods to attain each a part of our group throughout cultural and language borders. We assume that is thrilling and world-main analysis.”

Recommended For You