By:  Jenny Gottstein

In 1989, my father was at Candlestick Park watching the World Series when Loma Prieta struck. He joined others in the streets to direct cars as San Franciscan’s struggled to find loved ones and return home without traffic lights.

Meanwhile, I was in daycare across the city. The only thing I remember was crowding under the Lego tables with my playmates, and watching one teacher comfort another teacher who was sobbing uncontrollably.

Growing up in the Bay Area, you are constantly reminded that “the big one” will come any day now. Unlike a tornado or hurricane, earthquakes strike without warning – making them an invisible and terrifying foe. But if there is one thing we learned from the 1989 quake, it’s that San Franciscan’s have the capacity to support each other. Tragedy was met with solidarity, compassion and teamwork.

As a game designer, I can’t help but see the world as a weird complex game where success is contingent on strategy, flexibility, skill, and luck. My job has also given me a huge respect for the power of play. Games can teach important lessons and bring people together.

Which is why a few years ago, I started designing Disaster Preparedness Games at The Go Game. These interactive games were an opportunity for the public to learn basic urban preparedness skills, encourage creative problem solving, increase personal confidence, and build resilience as a community.

We now produce these games for schools, governments, and neighborhoods around the country. And recently, we started offering these games for companies as fun and useful teambuilding activities.

If you are interested in learning more about these games, please be in touch! You can email me at [email protected]. After all, resilience is a team sport.

Here at Reset San Francisco we’ve been tracking the great work The Go Game has been doing for years, including the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management’s SF Heroes Live. Please learn more about their work!