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‘Tanah’ takes on tsunamis and earthquakes in latest UNESCO game app

The Asia-Pacific region has a new hero in the battle to raise disaster risk reduction awareness – and she has pigtails.

UNESCO and software developer Open Dream have released "Tanah: The Tsunami & Earthquake Fighter", a mobile gaming application aimed at raising disaster risk reduction awareness.

“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 DRR awareness in Asia-Pacific, the most natural disaster prone region in the world.

The hero of the new game is Tanah, a schoolgirl whose family has recently relocated to an island community known for its volatile weather. 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, accompanied by her pet dragon Pado, must deal with its immediate effects and aftermath.

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. 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.

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.

“Sai Fah” challenged players to learn how to protect themselves and those around them from floods and has been downloaded by nearly 100,000 users in 140 countries in four languages: Thai, English, French and Bahasa Indonesian. A Nepali version will also be released shortly.

The need for these games becomes more starkly apparent every year, as natural disasters increase in frequency in Asia-Pacific, with the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami as well as the devastating Nepal Earthquake earlier this year being only two examples.

“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).


Flood fighter game takes disaster awareness to new level