How do you get kids interested in natural disaster preparedness? With a game, of course.

Last year was a rough year for Japan in terms of weather. Typhoon after typhoon hit the nation in late summer, and earthquakes caused some chaos in northern Japan. While things like earthquake drills and fire drills are normalized in many workplaces and schools, is there any guarantee that we’re actually paying attention?

The Japan Self-Defense Forces and Okayama Prefecture are trying to get kids in particular more interested in disaster preparedness with a new card game. This is the first time the Japanese military has developed a card game. The game has its own elaborate setup, rules, and custom characters that represent different branches of the military.

▼ This is Mai Senbongi from the Marines.

In the game, players are presented with disaster scenarios in event cards such as torrential downpours, blizzards, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even biohazards. Players then draw seven cards from a shuffled deck and combine different character cards and vehicle cards to win against the event card.

▼ This earthquake card requires you to roll a dice. The number you roll will represent the seismic strength of the earthquake.

It seems as though the game doesn’t prepare individuals for what to do in the event of a disaster, but it does raise awareness about the types of disasters and how the Japanese military would respond to them.

Right now, the card game is only available in Okayama Prefecture, which is one of the areas hit particularly hard by typhoons last year. Judging from the card’s website, the game could be made available in other areas of Japan in the future.

Netizens have reacted positively and have also pointed out a couple of interesting things about the deck. It seems that while some enjoy the idea of the card game, the execution wasn’t quite what they wanted.

“This is great!”
“Biohazard seems like some kind of beautiful anger of the gods.”
“All of the military characters are apparently half-American.”
“Why are all of the magic cards from Irasutoya? I guess they gave up.”
“They should have made it all Irasutoya!”

If you’re not familiar, Irasutoya is a free illustration collection that is often used in Japan.

Whether it’s natural disaster preparedness or sex education, it seems Japan will continue its trend of educating kids with creative card games.

Sources: Yahoo News via Livedoor News, Print Station
Images: Print Station