Gaming for good

Runner-up in the social impact category of the Core77 Design Awards professional category is UNICEF Emergency Response Simulation Game.

UNICEF Emergency Response Simulation Game by frog design and Andrew Styer in San Francisco for UNICEF.

Ever wondered how UNICEF carries out its mission on the ground? Now there is a game that allows people to increase their knowledge and understanding of UNICEF as well as humanitarian relief challenges.

The UNICEF Emergency Response Simulation Game is a two-hour, immersive experience designed to illustrate the operational complexities facing the organisation.

The game, developed by frog and Andrew Styer, will become a public, open-source tool aimed at increasing awareness about UNICEF activities, developing empathy for its global mission to protect children and their families; and highlight the valuable role the organisation plays in emergency relief.

Players gather in a room where they are organised into five content specific teams. Through the course of the game, players must work within their team and across teams to collect various tasks, culminating in submitting a supply plane order to UNICEF headquarters.    

The game was designed for potential volunteers, donors, students, civic groups, and UNICEF staff and provides a bridge for participants to better understand how they might contribute valuable skills and resources in times of need, says frog.

The hope is that the tool will go beyond its role in UNICEF and become a model for how game mechanics can be used to engage diverse audiences in complex issues.