In an article on Information Week's website covering the Interop technology conference, Rico Singleton, New York's Deputy CIO, confirmed the state is in the testing phase for issuing alerts and warnings through networked gaming consoles such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Wii Connect.
Currently, console manufacturers offer the ability for gamers to compete against one another over the Internet. Under the proposed plan, emergency alerts would be pushed across these networks, alerting game-playing citizens in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
"The goal," said Singleton, "is to reach younger residents who spend more time on the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii than with television or radio." He further stated the plan made sense, "considering the amount of time our youth spend on video games."
It is likely this alerting strategy will target more than young people. A study published in August of this year in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found 45% of the sample (552 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma areas) stated they played video games often. The most typical age for video game play was in the 35-54 age category. Although the sampled geographic area has one of the highest Internet adoption rates in the country, and the study did not examine networked video game play exclusively, the results are nevertheless interesting as they relate to issuing public alerts through gaming consoles.
Will this approach work? Only time will tell. Either way, it provides support for the pervasive and growing trend of "multi-modal" strategies related to emergency notifications.
All the best,
To receive a comprehensive white paper: "Notifications Alerts & Warnings, The Next Generation" go to http://galainsolutions.com/resources.html.