Finding the fastest way out of an escape room requires strategy, planning, a cool head and above all teamwork. That's exactly what's required to play QuakeScape - a brand new interactive game helping community groups to raise awareness and to better understand what it means to be more earthquake prepared.
QuakeScape - What's your earthquake game plan?
It’s the brainchild of Brandy Alger (M.S.E.E) who’s turned her passion for electrical engineering into a series of exciting community initiatives as part of her outreach role with the Quake Centre and Quake Core.
“It’s never too early for communities to start having these conversations around earthquake preparedness - so why not do it in a fun way?” asks Brandy. “We want to create engaging ways to get important communication started that will flow directly into action.”
So what is QuakeScape?
It’s a puzzle solving game with scenario based learning and is played as part of a training workshop held at schools, educational facilities, community centres, businesses or workplaces – anywhere key industry or community leaders can get together and get talking.
Players find themselves in an escape room, designed to test their seismic knowledge, while requiring teamwork to solve earthquake resilience related puzzles.
Each puzzle solved wins the team one of five essential community lifelines - drinking water, waste water, communication, transportation and energy. With all five vital lifelines in hand, the team is then free to ‘escape’ the room and move onto the next level.
“The great thing about playing QuakeScape is the community-led conversations that come about – it generates a lot of important discussion with key people in the local community,” says Brandy. “And that’s our aim, to get people thinking, talking and turning that conversation into a plan of action.”
Phase two of the fun throws the doors wide open for communication around health and safety issues relevant to each local community. The five lifelines are placed onto a choice of six resilience themes. Open-ended questions require each local community to prioritise what needs to be done to get the ball rolling toward better earthquake preparedness.
Questions can be adapted to match the earthquake resilience needs for each particular community involved, for example, a farming community will have different needs to an urban community after a disaster. They can also be adapted for the likelihood of different natural hazards such as earthquakes, flooding or volcanic eruptions.
“Dynamo,” is the word Quake Centre Director, Dr Robert Finch uses to describe Brandy. “She does a fantastic job and has made a great impact, working especially well in schools as well as successfully attracting funding. She’s a real asset - an absolute bundle of energy.”