The East Biloxi Castaways won Saturday’s Battlestorm tournament and, along with a trophy, got 500 free hurricane kits to distribute in their neighborhood. In the lead up to the tournament and at the event 300 additional hurricane kits were distributed to players, families and around town.
Because of the success of the hurricane prep game funded by Knight Foundation, the Boy and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast are planning to continue playing Battlestorm throughout the summer at five of their clubs to keep hurricane preparedness in the minds of kids and their families. And, other Boys and Girls Clubs are thinking of modifying the content of Battlestorm to address disaster preparedness more generally at other sites.
Knight Foundation is interested in new and innovative ways to tackle community issues like disaster preparedness. Last year, the foundation funded Area/Code (now part of Zynga) to use their expertise in social-impact games to create a way to help Gulf Coast families prepare for hurricane season. Area/Code worked with community partners to design Battlestorm, a game that combines freeze tag and capture the flag and teaches kids how to prepare for hurricanes at the same time. (For more background, see previous posts here and here.)
In an interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Alicia Tarrant, Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club of East Biloxi, gave some background on why the game was important to the kids, many of whom lived through Hurricane Katrina: "A lot of them lost their homes. Many of them had to wait it out in the attic, maybe even a tree, hanging on. Others evacuated and weren't able to come back for a very long time…"
Read the full story here.
Congrats to the Castaways for proving that their team statement was right on: “After the storm, many residents of East Biloxi felt like ‘castaways,’… However, we persevered and are on our way back—stronger than we were before!” And, more prepared!
Coming soon - video from the game and later this year a full evaluation of its effectiveness.