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Disaster preparation gamified for Oz kids

iOs game teaches 10-15 year olds how to survive storms, floods

Australia's Federal Government has released an iOs game, Before the Flood, to teach ten to fifteen year olds what to do when water levels start to rise.

The app's release is both timely and unfortunate.

In 2011 Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, experienced severe flooding that damaged thousands of homes, so the game's release yesterday is a nice addition to the government's educational arsenal.

But the timing of the app's release also looks a little unfortunate or insensitive as floods hit Victoria last week and huge sections of New South Wales have gone under water in the last few days.

Roads and businesses are flooded in bits of suburban Sydney less than a kilometre from The Register's Australian work-at-home eyrie, while vast tracts of farmland are and hundreds of homes in regional towns are under water.

The game enlists a robot called iGor and characters including Wolfman Elvis to show kids what they need to pack and how to prepare their homes before a flood, eventually offering advice on how to clean up after a flood.

Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon said she hopes the app will help kids will learn about emergency readiness.

We've given the game a quick play and while it's not a mess, we can't imagine the gentle quest-driven gameplay, which is reminiscent of Leisure Suit Larry or Monkey Island, will get twitchy-thumbed kids reared on consoles at all excited. ®

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