Thursday, April 23, 2009

Serious Games To Prevent A Pandemic

Serious Games bringing scientific research to today’s youth


Via: RANJ Serious Games

As the Netherlands’ most multifaceted university medical center, the Erasmus Medical Center creates special opportunities for patient care, training and research - every day, over 12,000 employees are working hard towards this objective.

The Erasmus Medical Center is an innovative UMC in which high-quality knowledge is being developed, passed on to future professionals and applied in patient care. It covers covers a broad field of interests that stretches from illness to health, and from individual to community healthcare.

Within the framework of Darwin Year 2009, Erasmus MC and the Natural History Museum Rotterdam have organized H5N1 - The Evolution of Influenza Virus, a ‘contagious’ event on scientific research into influenza viruses. The event consists of an exhibition, an online game and an audio book/CD with a lecture by Prof. Ab Osterhaus, head of the Department of Virology at Erasmus MC.

In the online game The Great Flu the player engages in a battle with the influenza virus. During the game, the player learns how the world could be prepared for a pandemic flu threat and the necessary measures to combat a pandemic.

Influenza Viruses

Medical science is involved in a continuous battle against influenza viruses. Relatively harmless viruses can create a new virus that is contagious and dangerous for humans. Particularly avian flu viruses qualify for creating such new viruses. In the worst case scenario, this could cause a pandemic, a worldwide epidemic that could kill millions.

Online Game

The online game shows that we can certainly prepare for disease outbreaks caused by viruses and that scientific research plays an essential role in this preparation.

The player puts himself/herself in the shoes of an international organization having to manage a worldwide outbreak of a new influenza virus, before it turns into a pandemic. The measures that can be taken by the player cost money and his/her budget is restricted. It is a race against the clock.

Developed by
Ranj Serious Games, the game offers, among other features, films in which Prof. Ab Osterhaus describes the scenario of an influenza pandemic. In this Darwin Year, Erasmus MC and the Natural History Museum Rotterdam want to use the game to bring scientific research to attention of the young and show that science can be exciting and fun.

The game can be played at
http://www.thegreatflu.com