Using serious games to evaluate the potential of social media information in early warning disaster management
- Journal Article
In recent years, the sharp increase in the use of social media by the public during major natural disasters has attracted the attention of various public agencies and safety organizations. Social media present a potential alternative communication system not only for disseminating information to the public, but also for receiving information from the individuals at risk. However, there is limited research on how emergency managers would use such information and whether it would make warning decision-making more effective or not. To address this gap, we used an existing serious game to accommodate informational and communication complexities in early warning disaster management. We played 4 game sessions with practitioners and PhD students involved in disaster risk management to simulate and test how public information from social media is used in emergency operation centres to make (protective and communicative) decisions. This includes how information is perceived in terms of levels of trust, usefulness and completeness depending on its type, source, quality/content and channel. Overall, we observe that information from the crowd disseminated on social media leads to better decisions and increases associated confidence levels. More precisely, we find that information from weather spotters, i.e. people trained in meteorology, is more trusted than information from the general public independent of the information quality. Ultimately, we demonstrate the usefulness of public social media information in warning decision-making, as well as the potential of serious games to evaluate warning communication, for instance by increasing warning communication literacy and enhancing collaborative capacity. Show more
Journal / seriesInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Pages / Article No.
SubjectSerious game; Social media; Early warning disaster management; Warning communication
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