Can you imagine what it is to work for Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) as a disease detective? That’s the branch of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC-the nation’s government agency that protects the health safety and security of the nation) that trains experts to become disease detectives. If this sounds interesting to you, this game, developed by the CDC called “Solve the Outbreak”, is a must try, and you can play it on mobile tablets and PCs.
Interactive and engaging- the game goals are to decipher the clues to a fictional outbreak (based on real life scenarios) and provide gamers a portal into the realm of challenges of fast paced, heart thumping, exciting environment of outbreak investigations. “Your mission if you choose to accept” is to save lives. It’s a creative way to use technology and gaming to engage the public and bring awareness and general knowledge about real-life public health issues.
Reports of novel (new to us) infectious disease cases/outbreaks in the news have ratchetted up, where once presumed by the general public to be confined to certain geographic regions such as developing countries, such emerging infectious diseases does not seem to see country boundaries. This game depicts the quintessential tracking and solving of outbreaks and brings home the message of how the world is a global petri dish for such disease causing microbes.
Whether in the physical or digital domain, the vastness of the world is simmered down enough, for these tiny germs to surge, a force to reckon with, for public health professionals and epidemiologists. Changes in society such as population density, travel, economics, international trade, ecological impacts such as climate and agricultural practices, and other advances in human technologies may have bought them to the forefront combined with the ever evolving nature of such disease causing germs. As bugs and environments evolve, are we better equipped for detection and surveillance ? That’s what CDC is intending for the public to learn.
So if you like science fiction thrillers, want to engage kids in sciences, looking for interesting careers, or just a science geek who enjoyed the movie rush for “Contagion”, this game will surely tickle your fancy as you crack the code for emerging disease via clues and solve the mystery to determine the outbreak.
News about disease outbreaks seems ubiquitous … Zika, Ebola, West Nile, SARS, Chikungunya (sound familiar)… so to learn what it is to be on the frontlines is the premises in a virtual setting of this game…the game app makes you think critically to make decisions such as whether to quarantine the village, treat the sick, test clinical specimens, interpret the results. You start as a novice and as stakes get higher, the game advances and you get awards for puzzles solved. Fun at any age…Give it a try….lets get that disease detective badge!