December 1, 2010: EVL and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency turns earthquake preparedness into a video game

Actually, it was the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) that created the video game, in cooperation with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The project was funded by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency through grants from the US Department of Homeland Security.

"The Day the Earth Shook" is designed to help middle-school children learn what to do during an earthquake. The game drives home the importance of having a preparedness kit in the home and being prepared for all types of disasters.

Southern Illinois lies within two seismic zones: the New Madrid, which stretches from Mississippi to Illinois along the Central Mississippi River Valley, and the Wabash Valley, located between southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana.

The game premiered on Monday, November 29, 2010, at Benton Grade School in southern Illinois. Children in grades 5-8 had the opportunity to play the game and responded enthusiastically. Some students said they were going to make an emergency kit when they got home that evening, and some asked when the next version of the game, with more levels of competition, would be available.

The game can be downloaded from the Ready Illinois website at

Several articles have appeared about the video game's successful introduction and UIC/EVL is duly credited:

Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees
of the University of
Helping Women Faculty Advance
Funded by NSF