dam or not

The game, #DamOrNot, ran on Twitter from 2016-2020. Find out more on the short video below. For those interested in the method, and in the broader engagement, learning, and reach of the game, read-on past the video.

The purpose of the game was to engage people about instream infrastructure (e.g., dams, weirs, and culverts), as well as raise awareness to related research methods, current events, and how structures can modify waters and lands. The topics were often sprinkled with humour (like the image of water on Saturn’s moon), there were guest hosts to talk about structures in their regions, and nature’s dam engineers – beavers – also made appearances.

Dam Or Not outline: a) at the same time and day (Tuesday) of the week, I’d tweet a photo depicting instream infrastructure or not; b) people would have 40 minutes to tweet me their guesses about the infrastructure; c) at 40 minutes I’d reveal what the infrastructure was, where it’s located, and discuss how it related to my own research, other’s research, or current events such as a recent dam failing, flooding etc.; and d) for the remaining 5-10 minutes, we would chat about the image and content.

Some additional observations from Dam Or Not:

  • Engagement with content did not vary much with time allocated for guesses (e.g., 40 minutes, 12 hours).
  • It was a learning space; people often noted that they learned something new and so did I.
  • People were interested in ways that they can get involved with research and projects.
  • Images from on-ground, and not satellite images, or of beaver dams had the most engagement.

Highlights of engagement, learning, and broader reach of Dam Or Not: