Try to Control Pandemics in New Online Game

August 17, 2009 -

Beware the Gamers Flu - it could wipe out humanity.

This fictional malady, which breaks out in China and Japan following a game convention, is one of five viral illnesses that can be tackled in The Great Flu, a new online game created by reserachers at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands.

The Associated Press reports that the object of the game is to prevent a global pandemic:

To fight the emerging outbreak, players use measures including setting up surveillance systems, stockpiling antivirals and vaccines, and closing schools and airports. Players also have a limited budget and are warned that "your actions to control the virus cost money, so keep an eye on it."

A running tally of the numbers of people infected and those who have died sit above the budget. Newspaper stories about the deadly virus and the global response to it — like riots breaking out worldwide — pop up to help players monitor the outbreak.

After a couple of play-throughs, I found The Great Flu to be a real-time strategy affair which is surprisingly enjoyable despite its chilling subject matter. The game challenges players to make difficult, real-world decisions about the timely allocation of healthcare resources when confronted with a potential pandemic. These choices range from relatively inexpensive options such as public information campaigns and distributing face masks, to tougher calls, including massive investments in vaccine or closing schools and airports. One of the game's key lessons - policy makers, take note - is that an aggressive early intervention can save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

So how did I fare against the Gamers Flu? Not so well. After just a month, 24,000 people had died around the world and there was rioting in the streets of cities along America's East Coast. The great thing about games, however, is that you can always start again.


Comments

Re: Try to Control Pandemics in New Online Game

President of Madagascar, a man in Brazil is coughing...

I think we all know the rest of the joke.

Re: Try to Control Pandemics in New Online Game

Re: Try to Control Pandemics in New Online Game

They're referring to the game Pandemic 2 in which the objective is to wipe out the human race by designing a disease that kills everybody before a vaccine is developed. Madagascar is notorious in the game for closing it's only harbor (it's only point of entry for the disease) at the slightest sign of trouble. The disease can be on the other side of the world and not even slightly deadly, but Madagascar panics and closes the harbor:P


Re: Try to Control Pandemics in New Online Game

If you're afraid of getting sick, just move to Madagascar

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.
 
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quiknkoldhas their own stream, you are a gamer. I think the only prerequiset is to Play Games for Enjoyment10/30/2014 - 10:21am
quiknkoldI always felt the Gamer Identity was expressing an enthusiasm for Gaming in general. There are different degrees to that. If you say "I love this game and play it, lets see what else" with Ipad game, you are a gamer. If you are a retro game collector who10/30/2014 - 10:20am
NeenekoIt is long overdue, and things will probably settle down when they accept that the industry does not cater to them and them alone and go back to posturing within their own subculture.10/30/2014 - 10:10am
NeenekoThe community has always been split, with many factions within it, and they used to not interact all that much. Now they are having to confront they are not alone and thus not the one twue gamer identity.10/30/2014 - 10:09am
CMinerMW: The two are not mutually exclusive.10/30/2014 - 10:05am
Matthew Wilsonthe gaming community is going to split in to 2 groups. one wants games reviewed as product, and the other as art with all the social critique that comes with that. at this point i dont think it can be stopped sadly.10/30/2014 - 9:56am
NeenekoIt is a wonderful example of the heart of the issue, people accustomed to being part of defining value slamming into people who have other values.10/30/2014 - 9:53am
E. Zachary KnightAlso, this is a hillarious view of Kickstarter "Fine, still doesn't justify taking people's money they gave her to do a project for herself." talking about Sarkeesian.10/30/2014 - 9:35am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/DanSlott/status/527814374459977728 One More Shot at Marriage.10/30/2014 - 8:44am
E. Zachary KnightApparently, it is ok to review a games art on whether or not you like the style, but not ok to review a game's story or theme based on whether or not you like or agree with it.10/30/2014 - 8:40am
MechaCrashComics never change because the people in charge now read comics when they were kids, and keep reverting comics to what they remember. As long as that cycle holds, change will be slow at best.10/30/2014 - 8:18am
Neeneko@ MechaTama31 - That is the big reason fansubs were tollerated for so long in the US, japanese studios kept watch to see which ones became popular via those networks.10/30/2014 - 8:11am
quiknkoldJournalists shouldnt be bigger than the stories they report or products they review.10/30/2014 - 7:48am
E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
 

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