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Emergency Alerts May Be Coming to Your Xbox

| 25 Nov 2009 16:59
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The State of New York is testing a plan which could broadcast emergency alerts over your Modern Warfare 2 match. Great.

At the Interop conference in New York City last week, New York State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton said that the state is considering alerting citizens to possible emergencies over online gaming networks in addition to more traditional networks. The process is in the testing phase now, and is part of the state's initiative to embrace communication over the internet.

It is unclear on which "online gaming network" they are testing the emergency alerts, but one would assume that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would all participate. No details were given as to how the alerts would be displayed, but the alerts could be a text scrawl at the bottom of the screen, or, even worse, an interruption of play. Or it might just be a "channel" you could check to see if an earthquake or zombie apocalypse was coming your way.

Singleton said that the plan only makes sense "considering the amount of time our youth spend on videogames." Is it just me, or was that a backhanded reproach of our hobby from a stuffy old politician? Perhaps I'm being sensitive.

It is interesting that a state agency would consider such a move, given the track record for governments embracing new technologies. Of course, the internet has been around for over 20 years so New York's response time isn't exactly lightning fast.

Source: Information Week

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