Bangkok, 10 January 2013 – UNESCO Bangkok is making its first foray into the virtual world of video games to teach real-life lessons on disaster safety and survival with the launch of the mobile game, “Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter” on 11 January.
The app, developed in partnership with Thai software company Opendream, will be launched at the Education Ministry’s Office of Non-Formal and Information Education’s day-long “Wan Dek” (Children’s Day) event on 11 January at Sanam Suea Pa in Dusit district.
Each level of “Sai Fah” contains an important lesson related to flood preparedness. Players must overcome challenges by choosing the safest course of action, with pop-up boxes alerting them to common hazards and other information related to floods. The cartoon-like design and inclusion of mini-puzzles increase the game’s appeal to young gamers.
The need to raise awareness around flood safety issues was made grimly apparent following the 2011 deluge in Thailand, which resulted in scores of preventable illnesses and deaths.
“Sai Fah” marks the first time that UNESCO Bangkok, the Regional Bureau for Education in Asia-Pacific, has developed a game for educational purposes. The project recognizes how “gamification” – using elements of games in non-game settings – can engage young learners by “speaking their language”, says Ichiro Miyazawa, Programme Specialist for Literacy and Lifelong Learning.
“We at UNESCO Bangkok acknowledge the tremendous potential gamification has in delivering a meaningful education experience to learners in the region, whether they come from formal, non-formal or informal backgrounds,” Mr Miyazawa said. “‘Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter’ makes the learning experience dynamic, and we hope users will enjoy this way of learning key concepts in disaster risk reduction.”
Opendream Project Manager Nathalie Sajda said that the project developed out of a desire to answer the question: “How do you capture the attention of today’s youth, who demand high quality and are constantly shifting between trends?
“Sai Fah [The Flood Fighter] balances the gaming elements that appeal to young people, such as a cute design and incentives through challenges, with an educational approach focused on teaching young people how to react before, during and after a flood disaster.”
The game, which will be available for testing on mobile and tablet platforms at the Children’s Day event, will initially be available in Thai, with an English-language version set for wider release later this month.
“Sai Fah” is available for download via:
For further information, please contact: UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer Noel Boivin at email@example.com