Absurdly High-Stakes Game

If you were interested in my posts about disaster preparedness and SF NERT, I just found out about an interesting new app for Android and iOS. (Although the Android version seems to crash on me fairly often. Not sure if that is due to the app itself or just my antiquated phone.)

It applies the principles of gamification to disaster planning. Using the app gives you points and badges based on getting or doing certain things. There are actually several categories of actions – “Be Here,” checking into important locations around town (by QR code and GPS, depending on whether it is a specific event or just a location to know); “Get Connected,” signing up for emergency news through SMS, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter; “Know Your Stuff,” quizzes on preparedness; “Personal Contacts,” identify important people and places you need in an emergency; and “Get It Done,” check lists of essential gear and tasks to complete before a disaster.

The app also connects to your Twitter and Facebook accounts so you can share your achievements with friends. (Sorry to those who saw a stream of badge notifications early this morning on my feeds.) You can also use these connections to invite your friends to download the app and prepare with you.

If you do not live in San Francisco, the mapping and emergency news features might not be useful to you, but anyone can take advantage of the “Get It Done” check lists. You can also look into if your town has a similar app. I highly recommend doing so, since losing at disaster planning can mean perma-death!

Batman does not appreciate geo-tagged social media, but if you do live near San Francisco, I plan on going “war driving” soon to rack up all the check-ins I can. Anyone interested in joining me? Or joining me for the upcoming adventure game around town?


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