29 November 2013

Fridays from the Archives: Games Galore

Friday, November 29, 2013: Games Galore

In honor of US Thanksgiving, today's Fridays from the Archives post focuses on a topic many of us encounter before or after turkey consumption: games.

Though your Thanksgiving day gaming interests may be more in the realm of American football, Timothy Dasey's 2011 presentation on EpiDIG shows how virtual games can provide an effective mental workout to supplement the physical. In Using Gaming Tools to Train Disease Surveillance Professionals and Investigate Next-Generation Capabilities, we learn the rationale behind gaming as a surveillance tool. Gaming not only allows people to hone their decision making abilities but it can also be instrumental in developing reaction strategies for events that are rarely seen and therefore difficult to prepare for.

Gaming is not sufficient for ensuring preparedness, but it has substantial potential as another tool in the arsenal of readiness. EpiDIG games are developed to supplement possible weaknesses of traditional emergency preparedness exercises, including a lack of feedback. The ability to simulate, for instance, a food borne disease outbreak, and receive direct feedback to the response and decision-making is extremely valuable to surveillance professionals. Since Dasey's presentation in 2011 MIT Lincoln Labs has continued to develop serious gaming systems and utilize them with public health practitioners (read more).

The full set of slides and recording from Timothy Dasey, PhD (October 27, 2011) can be found in the ISDS Webinar Archive.

This post is part of the series Fridays from the Archives. You can access all posts in the series here.

Written by Becky Zwickl, MPH, ISDS Public Health Analyst (bzwickl@syndromic.org)

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