Award Winning
Ages 10+, Educational, New

Cards Against Calamity

Cards Against Calamity wins GOLD at the 2017 Serious Play Awards!

Don’t be shellfish, we’re all in the same boat! A way for coastal communities to invest in themselves, Coastal Resilience is a means of ‘bouncing back and building beyond’. Coastal storms, marine debris, flooding, or any other possible troubles could bring disaster to an unprepared coastal community. It takes decision makers from all areas of a community who plan to improve, and act to adapt.

For Cards Against Calamity, we helped subject matter experts from the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) to create a card game -- a tool that Sea Grant teachers can take into coastal communities and play with stakeholders. Once we had a set of learning objectives in hand, 1st Playable first held a company-wide game jam to quickly generate compelling game designs. We then synthesized the best parts of the best designs together, and began a process of testing and iterating gameplay to make rapid improvements. The game can be used to illustrate and simulate, encouraging decision makers to roleplay as specific stakeholders who specialize in Fishing, Services, Industry, and Tourism as they communicate and negotiate plans that will both strengthen their community and each other.


Cards Against Calamity
  • Audience: Coastal Communities
  • Platform: Tabletop Game
  • Partner: The Environmental Law Institute; Made with support from NOAA and the Wilson Center