‘Tanah’ takes on tsunamis and earthquakes in latest UNESCO game app
A new hero is raising awareness to reduce disaster-related risks in the Asia-Pacific region – and she has pigtails. She is the central character of Tanah: The Tsunami & Earthquake Fighter", a mobile gaming application released by UNESCO and software developer Open Dream to teach young players to prepare for, respond to, and recover from Tsunami and Earthquake disasters. The app quickly became a favorite among educational applications on the App Store and Google Play, where it is available in English, Bahasa Indonesian and Thai.
The need for preparedness initiatives to increase awareness and readiness in an innovative way becomes more starkly apparent every year, as natural disasters increase in frequency in Asia-Pacific. Recent tragedies include the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015 and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. “Tanah” is the sequel to the successful “Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter” game app released in 2013, which marked UNESCO’s first venture into “gamification” – using the game format as an educational tool in an effort to increase Disaster Risk Reduction awareness in Asia-Pacific, the most natural disaster prone region in the world. “Sai Fah” challenged players to learn how to protect themselves and those around them from floods. It has been downloaded by nearly 100,000 users in 140 countries.
The new game focuses on earthquakes and tsunamis. Its hero is a schoolgirl whose family has recently relocated to an island community known for its volatile weather, Tanah, accompanied by her pet dragon Pado. Players guide the young girl through a series of challenges related to disaster risk reduction, starting with preparing her home and moving on to when disaster strikes and Tanah, must deal with its immediate effects and aftermath.
The bright colors and cartoon-like feel that made “Sai Fah” such a success are back and the animations have been upgraded in Tanah, which features even more eye-grabbing visuals to keep gamers, especially young ones, engaged. Each of the game’s 20 levels brings multiple lessons that are reinforced through repetition – players must respond appropriately in all scenarios before moving on.
“Tanah” is the result of a collaborative effort between the Red Cross/Red Crescent Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), UNESCO Bangkok and developer Opendream, with funding support from USAID. Other partners include the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) and PMI (Indonesian Red Cross).
The game is available in English, Bahasa Indonesian and Thai with additional languages to come through generous support from the GDPC, USAID and other partners.