Article date: 5 August 2008
An online simulation game launched today helps families understand the UK's risk of flooding, and the policy decisions needed to make sure the UK is protected against floods.
Floodsim.com, developed by London based computer game company PlayGen, puts the player in charge of all flood policy decisions. In the game, floods hit the UK each year, and success is determined by how many people and how much of the economy is affected by flooding.
The project has received backing from environment minister Phil Woolas. He said: "The floods of 2007 show just how serious flooding can be, and I am glad to see that this project has been developed to enable people to have a greater understanding of the risk of flooding. A number of decisions need to be taken when we look at managing the risk of flooding - including our annual spend on flood defences, where and how we build new houses, and the emergency response procedures we have in place for times of flood. This game gives the game player the opportunity to make informed decisions about all of these policy areas."
PlayGen's managing director, Kam Memarzia, said: "We are extremely pleased to have been involved in this project. This is a new way of making people aware of an issue of huge importance to the UK, and we hope that players will not only enjoy the game, but it will also encourage them to be more interested and engaged in the tough political decisions needed to deal with flood risk. Through the website, we want people to respond to consultations, write to their local MP, find out their flood risk - and make their voice heard."
The game has been funded by Norwich Union, the UK's biggest insurer. Ben Welsh, public affairs director at Norwich Union, said: "We are delighted to have worked with PlayGen on this project. Keeping this issue in the public eye is vital. Around 45,000 Norwich Union customers were affected by the floods in 2007. Our job is twofold; to put things right for our customers as quickly as possible, and secondly, work in partnership with the Government, agencies and the general public to ensure the UK is better prepared for the effects of flooding in future."
The game can be played online at www.floodsim.com/
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Notes to editors:
About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses. It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK. www.norwichunion.com/
PlayGen is the UK's leading games and simulations development studio for engaging players on important issues. PlayGen creates games to foster learning and innovation, to promote discussion and better understanding of complex situations and to improve training and assessment. Previous projects include: a game about policy making called SeriousPolicy; simulations used by Defence; virtual reality game to teach innovation strategy to CEOs; and games to inspire the next generation of scientists and promote the understanding of nanotechnology, one of which is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust. www.playgen.com/