CREATED WITH AND FOR THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), iThrive Games designed and produced Disaster Mind, a simulation game that promotes disaster preparedness in those who play it. Hosted on iThrive Sim, the single player simulation game supports FEMA in reaching young people in hard-to-reach areas of their region by engaging them in a readiness and resilience-building activity that delivers transformative education and helps them build the right mindset. Set during the onset of different natural disasters, Disaster Mind helps players arrive at the understanding that stress management skills, the right mindset, being prepared, and having important conversations with family and community members can prevent an emergency from becoming a full-blown catastrophe.
With Teens: Intended to train and activate young audiences, Disaster Mind began with focus groups held with teens ages 14 to 16 from Jeffco Public Schools who helped inform the game's learning outcome and story elements. Their wisdom highlighted a deep concern for their pets, a desire for a coordinated plan and useful skills in the wake of the COVID pandemic, strategies that combat feelings of loneliness and helplessness, and helped the final game reflect how teens define terms like 'trusted source' and frame challenges. In the game's agile and iterative cycle of playtesting, evaluation, and refinement, teens also gave feedback to ensure a positive, compelling user experience, even voting for the final game title, Disaster Mind. Most teens who tested the game shared that they intend to talk to their family about their disaster preparedness plan, now understanding how important it is.