Universitas Gadjah Mada develops virtual reality game to educate Indonesian children about disaster mitigation

Community disaster preparedness is essential because disasters can strike without any warning at any given moment, especially in Indonesia.

For instance, Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta recently emitted phreatic eruption, which was then followed by volcanic ash that showered in some areas of the city as well as in the surrounding areas. And although there were no victims of the disaster, it seemed that the community knowledge pertaining to disaster preparedness needs more improvement.

According to the announcement released by the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), an innovative and interactive educational strategy related disaster mitigation solution was developed by its students. The MitEdu Game makes use of 3D and augmented reality technology to present disaster mitigation situations that players need to successful pass.

The game will educate children through the use of technology during gameplay. 3 UGM students created the MitEdu Game, namely, Ms Esya Rachma Ningrum (Geography 2017), Mr Faturahman Yudanto (Informatics Engineering 2016), and Ms Setianing Wikanthi (Microbiology 2017).

Ms Esya Rachma Ningrum, the team leader,  explained how their innovation is important in teaching kids about mitigation. The aim of their game was to prevent and learn about disasters.

As an innovative media for disaster mitigation education, the players can virtually experience, at the eruption level, the disaster through the game. Different situations will arise as the users proceed to the next levels of the game.

There are four levels of potential natural disasters in Yogyakarta than can be experienced through the MitEdu Game. These natural disasters are volcanic eruption, earthquake, tsunami, and flood. The game will teach the players how to prepare for a disaster, what to do during a disaster, and how they will cope in the aftermath of the disaster through the self-rescue concept of the game.

Ms Esya discussed that the game can be played individually or in groups and makes use of a combination of technology and books to educate the children.

Dr Dyah Rahmawati Hizbaron, S.Si., M.T., M.S., the mentor of the group, explained that the game has the potential to become an interesting as well as an interactive media for educating children. In order for the children to succeed while playing the game, they are required to read books.

The advantage of the MitEdu Game is its capacity to entice the children to read books, since it is required to pass levels, an also be equipped with the knowledge and skills for disaster mitigation at such a young age through the use of advanced technology.

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