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Gamers vs. Diseases

By Scott Smith in News on Dec 15, 2005 1:22PM

With all the holiday hullabaloo lately, Chicagoist is having a hard time staying motivated at work. But we bet it’d be a lot easier to do our jobs if we got to play video games all day like the folks at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Wired magazine, the CDC is funding the creation of video games that train its workers to respond to emergency situations and disaster scenarios like an avian flu outbreak 2005_12_16_duckhunt.jpgor biochemical attacks. Originally developed by the Chicago Public Health Department, the games are being developed by the Center for the Advancement of Distance Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The games are unique in that they train workers to perform multiple roles and train on their own schedules. It’s an impressive way to use technology since the only time games are used at our job is during our Bejeweled breaks. Previous attempts to train CDC workers involved role-playing or watching videos. We’re also pretty sure there was a Powerpoint presentation or two as well.

Chicagoist thinks this is a great idea. In fact, we’re willing to donate copies of Madden 2005 to the Bears to help them prepare for their game against the Falcons this Sunday.