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Extreme Event Game FAQ

How much does it cost? 

All the game components are free, but some items need to be printed. Most facilitators report spending less than $25. Producing top-quality materials can cost up to a few hundred dollars. The cost depends on the printing resources you have and how durable you want your game to be.
 
You can customize the game materials to fit your budget and technology. Find instructions and cost-saving tips in the game kit downloads at Game Setup
 

How much time does it take? 

The game is designed to last 1 hour. You can make it longer (if desired) by including more surprise challenges or having a more in-depth discussion at the end. 
 
Start planning your game and preparing your materials a few weeks beforehand. Most facilitators report spending 1-2 hours preparing the game materials. On game day, give yourself 15-30 minutes to set up the game room. Find instructions at Game Setup and Host Your Game
 

Is it right for my group? 

Any group of 12-48 adults or teens can play Extreme Event. It’s been used by community groups, in classrooms, and as part of volunteer and teacher training activities. It’s cross-disciplinary, so fits well in many different contexts. 
 
In addition to teaching key lessons related to community resilience, the game is also a great ice-breaker and team-building activity. About Extreme Event Game describes the game’s structure and learning outcomes. Game Setup lists what you’ll need to play. 
 

What if I have more than 48 players? 

To run a single game with more than 48 players, simply print out a second set of name tags. This allows you to have up to 96 players, with some characters being played by two people. Players will still be divided into exactly six sectors and six neighborhoods. You do not have to print extra materials—players should share. With large groups, it is important to use printed challenge boards, a microphone, and good-quality speakers to ensure all players hear the instructions and participate fully. Another alternative is to split your players into smaller groups and run two separate games at different times or places.
 

Can the Koshland Science Museum facilitate a game for us? 

Yes! We’ll send a full set of materials and a trained two-person team to your location to facilitate your game. We ask only that you cover the cost of travel (from Washington, DC) for our two staff members. Contact us to tell us more about your group, location, and dates. 
 

What is the Digital Game Portal? 

The Digital Game Portal allows you to facilitate the game using 7 Internet-connected laptops or tablets (one for the facilitator plus one for each of six player tables). The portal is web-based and you do not need to download any apps or software. Try a Demo Test Game to see how it works or try Digital Game Portal Troubleshooting if you encounter problems.
 
The portal has the game script, game controls, and all the visual and sound effects you’ll need—all built in. Using the portal means you won’t need as many printed materials. However, you WILL need reliable Wi-Fi in your game room to use the Digital Game Portal. 
 
The game can be facilitated with or without the Digital Game Portal. The game kit downloads can help you find the approach that’s right for your group. Find them at Game Setup
 

How do I get the materials? 

You have three options: assemble the game materials yourself, rent a set from us, or have us facilitate your game. See Game Setup for more information about these options and their costs, as well game kit downloads. 
 

Can I try a test game? 

Yes! The simplest way is to try a Demo Test Game using the Digital Game Portal. You can facilitate your actual game using this portal or a printed script; either way, the test game is a great way to familiarize yourself with the script and game mechanics.   
 
You can also try a test game in person. Once you’ve assembled your materials, just gather a few helpers together for a mock run-through. Or, contact us to see if there’s a live game you could attend in your area before you host your own. 
 

Will there be other scenarios? 

We’d love to create more scenarios, but time and funding are limited. Feel free to send suggestions to ksm@nas.edu. You can also sign up for email updates and we’ll be sure to let you know if new scenarios are released. 
 
You may also want to check out the Extreme Event Webquest, a classroom activity that includes a wider variety of disaster types. See More Resilience Resources for additional ideas.  
 

I have feedback or would like to collaborate. Who can I contact? 

We welcome suggestions and collaborators. Contact us at ksm@nas.edu or call (202) 334-1201. 
 
If you’ve already facilitated a game, we encourage you to fill out our 5-minute Survey. Your feedback will help improve Extreme Event Game.
 
 
Still have questions? Contact us at ksm@nas.edu.