role: Design Lead
The first Zombie Apocalypse Disaster Preparedness Game took place in San Francisco in July 2011. Players were given nerf guns and directed to run around the city completing missions they received on their smartphones. Some of the missions were ridiculous (zombie brain bashing target practice with piñatas), but most were designed to foster basic disaster skills (learn how to bandage a burn wound, how to pack a survival kit, memorize emergency radio stations and plan evacuation routes). Meanwhile actors dressed as zombies chased after the players, and the game culminated in a Thriller dancemob at a local park. The event was open to the public, and proceeds from ticket sales went to benefit Project Night Night.
Based on the success of the community event, Jenny and The Go Game designed a week-long superhero-themed earthquake preparedness game for the city of San Francisco, a wildfire preparedness game for a town in rural California, and a tsunami preparedness game for a tech company in San Diego. In 2014, Jenny embarked on a cross-country research trip with the Millennial Trains Project to scale the disaster preparedness game initiative nation-wide. In each city, she met first responders, community leaders, and creative thinkers to learn how different regions were preparing for natural disasters. After the trip, she was invited to present her research to the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation at The White House and contribute to the CDC website.
Since then, Jenny has produced Zombie Disaster Prep games in Portland and New York, a bilingual earthquake preparedness game in San Francisco, and has worked with government agencies, private companies, non-profits and community leaders to turn disaster preparedness training into something that is accessible, memorable and fun.