Author: Ilan Kelman

Supporting mental health through disaster prevention

Source(s): Psychology Today


  • The phrase “natural disasters” is a misnomer, because we can choose to avoid harm from environment’s perils.
  • Gaming can change our psychology by instilling cooperative strategies necessary for preventing disasters.
  • Producing confidence in avoiding disasters can help our mental health.

Imagining a disaster is scary. Contemplating death, disruption, and devastation can adversely affect our mental health. How could disaster game psychology make stopping disasters fun, effective, and inspiring?


Disaster Games

Games could be used to turn around this inertia, giving us power and opportunities to save lives rather than cleaning up afterward. What is the psychology of disaster gaming that could instill a culture of prevention? How should games balance the consequences of creating disasters compared to the implications of choosing to act so that they do not occur?


Changing Our Mental Picture

Within all these, what works effectively for different audiences? Which games change mental pictures constructively for players to become disaster preventers? Which ones are seen as merely “games,” not linked to reality and not changing the way we think and act? How do we overcome rule-based thinking, which is typical in games, in favour of an ever-changing situation, which is the reality for disasters?


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