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Best Practices–Interviews

A number of class bloggers have mentioned using interviews within their blogs.  Michelle Jackson has given an excellent example of how this can be done with her post on Pablo Suarez (Red Cross) – Games create dialogue.

On Tuesday, I met up with Pablo Suarez from Red Crescent/Red Cross, a researcher on climate and disasters. In this interview, he discusses how designing and incorporating games impacts the understanding and outcomes of his professional work.

MJ:  Why would a researcher on climate on disasters decide to incorporate game play into their work?

PS:  Scientists know where a disaster is heading and approximately when it will hit, but people still don’t take the right actions to protect themselves due to their lack of access, resources, and trust in information.  What we found is that if you only talk about the threat of disaster, people do not internalize what it means.    Games provide a platform for people to learn for themselves by being exposed to the consequences of their decisions through an experience.  After playing a game, the audience understands the complexity with their gut as well as their brain.

MJ: What types of audiences have you worked with and how have they responded to the game play?

PS:  Working with Parsons Designers has changed my professional life in a very meaningful way.  I finally have been able to engage my audiences. We have played games on three continents including work with communities of illiterate farmers in Ethiopia, Malawi and other countries; twelve workshops for training Red Cross personnel, diaster mangers, health operators and logistics.  We have also played with senior level politicians including US government delegates to the climate conventions. In every single case, it has made a very noticeable difference because people have fun engaging with the game and want to continue talking with each other after the Q&A.

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