Cards Against Calamity

Rated E for Everyone


Civics, Education


1st Playable Productions & the Environmental Law Institute



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Cards Against Calamity


In Cards Against Calamity, you take on the role of mayor of a small coastal town. You must balance the needs of various stakeholder groups, from fishermen to tourists and small business owners, while protecting the town from job loss, pollution, hurricanes, and hipsters. Do you have what it takes?

For Cards Against Calamity, 1st Playable Productions 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 they had a set of learning objectives in hand, 1st Playable first held a company-wide game jam to quickly generate compelling game designs. They 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.