How can gamification be incorporated into disaster emergency planning? A systematic review of the literature

Nayomi Kankanamge, Tan Yigitcanlar, Ashantha Goonetilleke, Md. Kamruzzaman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of gamification as a novel technique in motivating community engagement in disaster-related activities in order to address the question of how gamification can be incorporated into disaster emergency planning. Design/methodology/approach – This study conducts a systematic literature review and explores available gamified applications for disaster emergency planning and their purpose of use. In total, 51 scholarly articles on the topic and 35 disaster-related gamified applications are reviewed.
Findings – The findings reveal the following: (a) gamified applications (n = 35) are used for education, research and intervention purposes; (b) gamified applications create new opportunities for community engagement and raise disaster awareness among the community in virtual environments; and (c) gamified applications help shape a new culture – i.e. gamified culture – that supports smart disaster emergency planning practice.
Originality/value – During the recent years, utilisation of game elements in non-game contexts – i.e., gamification – has become a popular approach in motivating people in various actions. Increasing research highlighted the benefits of gamification in enhancing community engagement, creating interactive environments, providing better behavioural outcomes and influencing democratic processes. Despite some of the applications indicating the potential of gamification in disaster emergency planning, the use of gamification technique in this discipline is an understudied area. This study reveals gamification can be incorporated into disaster emergency planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-506
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Community engagement
  • Gamification
  • Gamified applications
  • Gamified culture
  • Serious games
  • Smart disaster emergency planning

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