Ready for drought? A community resilience role-playing game

Markéta Podebradská, Mary Noel, Deborah J. Bathke, Tonya R. Haigh, Michael J. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Drought is an abstract and complex phenomenon that can be difficult for many people to comprehend. Proactive planning to improve response during drought events is necessary but complicated because it involves stakeholders and decision-makers with competing interests. A category of games, called serious games, have proven to be helpful when learning about abstract concepts, and for improving communication and conflict resolution with respect to water-related issues. In this study, we present a new in-person role-playing game that serves as a drought educational tool in both classroom and professional settings. The message of the game emphasizes the importance of communication and cooperation between various communities and sectors that can be affected by drought. Furthermore, it also encourages discussions and collaborations between stakeholders involved in drought planning and can serve as an icebreaker activity. The game has been played in a variety of settings including university classes, university extension workshops, and drought workshops. This study describes the game itself, its development, and the results of surveys from game participants that were used to evaluate the usability of the game as an educational and icebreaker activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2490
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Drought education
  • Drought planning
  • Icebreaker
  • Serious game
  • Social learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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