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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Matthew Wilsonmy god....... people need to play life is strange. its a very very dark version of twin peaks08/01/2015 - 12:56pm
DocMelonheadLook, I know that you guys wanted to study Gamergate; hell, one of your writers were Interviewing KiA on the subject (He's been banned from GamerGhazi). Sadly, the minorities veiwed Gamergate the same way as WBC at best, and Nazis at worst.08/01/2015 - 12:31pm
DocMelonheadIP wanted you to know that GamerGate is about Harassing minorities into submission, not "Ethnics in Journalism". It been a year since the Zoe Post was published and sparked a hate mob on Zoe Quinn.08/01/2015 - 12:28pm
DocMelonheadThat what's IP's goal is here in regard to gamergate: to get you guys to disassociate yourselves from the harassers that made all those claims up to threaten the advocates of social justice for minorities.08/01/2015 - 12:24pm
DocMelonheadIP tries to demonize all of GamerGate and it's supporters, along with those who didn't outright condemn it as a cover for a hate mob full of bigots.08/01/2015 - 12:20pm
MechaCrashNo, IP is trying to dehumanize you, I'm just pointing out that you're a hypocrit who makes bad faith arguments.08/01/2015 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenAnd I'm off too. Play nice, y'all!08/01/2015 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenIn short, discussions of ethics in journalism? Totally fine. Said indie dev's sex life? Not okay.08/01/2015 - 11:31am
james_fudgeTry talking when you have hundreds of people tweeting at you at the same time :)08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Andrew EisenAnd yet, when 30-seconds of research showed that there was no relevance to said indie dev's sex life, many people kept talking about. Hell, still do to this day. I had a guy on Twitter pester me about this nonsense for an entire day last weekend.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
james_fudgeWhatever dude, you're here posting. No one's stopping you.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Goth_SkunkBe advised: In approximately 30 minutes I'm heading out of town for an obligatory family reunion. This is being stated so that none can interpret my upcoming 24 hour hiatus as a tail-tucking turn from discussion.08/01/2015 - 11:28am
Goth_SkunkEven now, IronPatriot, MechaCrash, and Craig R. continue to attempt to shout me down and dehumanize me.08/01/2015 - 11:25am
Goth_SkunkWhat transpired afterwards was a concerted effort to shout down and dehumanize those trying to bring these matters out into the open. I remain utterly convinced of this to this day.08/01/2015 - 11:24am
Goth_SkunkAnd yet the sex life of this indie developer tied right into the matter of journalistic ethics, as investigations uncovered a great number of breaches of ethical conduct, both related & not. That scandal is the orifice from which the balloon is inflated.08/01/2015 - 11:20am
MechaCrashI am reminded of the saying about playing chess with a pigeon.08/01/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenThis is supported by, well, what actually happened, but also the text of the actual leaks. That was Tito's question and what he and a few (four total, I think) were discussing.08/01/2015 - 11:11am
Andrew EisenNo, it's not. What was generally prohibited was not discussion of journalistic ethics or other GamerGate topics, but threads that were, for example, discussing the sex life of an indie developer. THOSE are what were locked and removed.08/01/2015 - 11:10am
Goth_SkunkI don't believe you. Not for a second. Every major site with the exception of the Escapist prohibited discussion of GamerGate in its early stages. That is a fact.08/01/2015 - 11:04am
Andrew EisenNo, that's a fact. Don't believe me, read 'em yourself. No one was trying to censor discussion of GamerGate.08/01/2015 - 11:02am
 

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