Avalanche Education – Case study Riski Lavango

Case study Riski Lavango board game with an app

Soon in ISSW 2016, Breckenridge, CO, USA

Domain: Informal, non-formal and formal learning

Name: Riski Lavango

Type: Board game with an app, edutainment of 3rd generation serious game (BinSubaih et al, 2009), (Ulisack & Wright, 2010)

Target audience: snow users aged 9 and more

Content: Rise awareness against snow avalanches dangers

Commissioned by: Luis G. López Cobo

Developed by: Luis G. López Cobo / Sage Entertainment, SLU

Time to produce prototype: 1-2 years

Overview: Riski Lavango is a board game with an app developed by Sage Entertainment, SLU. It is in process of edition looking for sponsors with the aim of engaging snow users aged 9 and more in the awareness of snow avalanches dangers. It is sponsored by Ski Andorra and the Department of Cultural Promotion and Linguistic Policy from the Government of Andorra.

Logo Ski Andorra 1 color  Resultado de imagen de govern andorra escut

In the game, the player choose a figurine (man, woman or beast) and have to complete some snow activities in four mountains. The players follow some paths with significant squares where find some equipment, meteorology events, skills cards and awards/dangers/dynamics cards.

The purpose is having the suited equipment and one card from each of the four skills promoted (training and experience, materials and equipment, information, and the human factor) and go to complete the snow activity. There are no questions, instead, the cards have good and bad practices, which have a blind value for the player and are valued from negative to positive. In order to evaluate the right selection of good practices chosen by the player, there is an app to decode the values from the cards.

the four skills promoted:

  • training and experience,
  • materials and equipment,
  • information,
  • and the human factor

The app gives feedback about the cards chosen, and that give the opportunity to choose better cards and try again in case the player haven’t succeed the activity.

The players have to complete the snow activities in the mountains with no established order. The asymmetrical design provides different strategies to the player, as well as the randomness appeared in one of the variables used in the app to introduce natural hazard.

There are two different levels of difficulty and two kinds of awards every time an activity is completed successfully.

The combination of the bad choice of skills cards and randomness can provoke the game disqualification of the player.

International sponsors are wanted!

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Background: The idea for the game originated from the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) 2013, where Mr. Rolf Westerhof and Mr. Maarten Huisman from the Safety Snow Center (Nederlands) presented a card game based on the Professional Reduction Method (PRM) (Westerhof & Huissman, 2013) . As a result, I asked myself why don’t think in terms of awareness rising. I was inspired to design a game that was not aimed at an audience prepared on the subject of avalanches.

The first prototype took three months to design and build, but then ten months to be cyclically tested and improved. The first prototype gave a positive return in all evaluation variables at about 60 %. Then it almost took one year more to be analyzed and improved after tests, designed, and illustrated.

This means the first influence of this game into the formal education

When the game was finished, Steve Cummins and I started the promotion and search for sponsorship.

Inspiration for others: The pedagogical counselor of the French national education for physical education and sports for Andorra, Mr. Patrick Morlaes and Mrs. Pili Rodríguez, head of the Andorran school for Andorran content in Spanish and French schools courses attended to some evolution of the prototype of Riski Lavango.

Mr. Morlaes with the participation of some of the teachers from the French School fourth grade from the villages of Ordino, Sant Julià de Lòria, Santa Coloma and Pas de la Casa, created a game designed collectively by the students of 9 to 10 years old, inspired in the design of Riski Lavango. This means the first influence of this game into the formal education.

The students have created the rules of a new game with questions and answers about snow avalanches. The rules were evolving among the four schools and I was invited to assist a game with the final rules.

The game utilizes bilingual French / Catalan questions cards with three possible answers. The board of Riski Lavango, modified by the students, was projected onto a metal board in the wall. Thus, using magnetized chips, it is provided a large board to play in the classroom.

Supporters: Association for knowledge of snow and avalanche (ACNA), Spreading about snow and avalanches (EDNA – IEA), Marcel Chevalier Earth Sciences Foundation, Ministry of Education of the Spanish Embassy in Andorra, Nature Defense Association (ADN) of Andorra, Steve Cummins, Núria Guerrero Hue (SocialForest), Rocío Hurtado Roa (Snowthings), Aurora López, Azucena López Cobo, Joan López Redondo, Daniel Ribao Docampo, Josep Samarra Farré, Josep Tomàs (RTVA, SA) and Sonsoles Valdivia Salas.

Sponsored by: Ski Andorra (the association of Andorra’s ski resorts), the Department of Cultural Promotion and Linguistic Policy from the Government of Andorra.

International sponsors are wanted!


BinSubaih, A., Maddock, S. & Romano, D., 2009. Serious Games for the Police: Opportunities and Challenges

Ulisack, M. & Wright, M., 2010. Games in Education: Serious Games. Bristol, Futurelab.

Westerhof, R. & Huissman, M., 2013. Modern Avalanche Education: About Rubber Gloves and a Card Game. In Proceedings 2013 International Snow Science Workshop Grenoble – Chamonix – Mont-Blanc, pp 473-474.

More in ISSW 2016: Thu, October 6  12:30 – 13:50
Poster in Avalanche Education,
López Cobo, L. G.
 A new edutainment tested to rise awareness of the dangers of snow avalanches in susceptible snow activities





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