SINGAPORE - Imagine if you find yourself at the helm of a humanitarian mission and have to decide quickly where to build tents, as well as how to treat illnesses and deliver water to a disaster area.
This is the scenario facing players of a new computer game launched on Friday by humanitarian aid group Mercy Relief and Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) to spread awareness about Mercy Relief's work.
Called Code Blue, this interactive 3D game targets youth aged 13 or older, and aims to allow them to experience what it is like to work on the front line of humanitarian efforts in a virtual way.
To achieve high scores, players have to efficiently allocate resources and manage the "morale" of those receiving the aid.
The launch of the game was intended to coincide with Total Defence Day - which falls on Feb 15 - to emphasise the importance of learning to cope with disaster and conflict.
At the launch at Anglican High School, Mercy Relief chief executive Goh Chin Siang said: "The content, specific to our mission of providing timely and effective relief, and empowering communities in Asia, is opening young dynamic minds and cultivating their engagement in humanitarianism."
Mr Daniel Tan, director of SIDM, is encouraged by how "the students now know that they are able to use their creativity and games creation skills to better contribute to the good of the community".
The computer game is designed to pique the interests of students in volunteer work through an interactive online game.
This is the second collaboration between Mercy Relief and Nanyang Polytechnic. In 2012, they also worked together to produce a computer game targeted at young children to raise awareness about Mercy Relief's work.
After a trial run of the game, many Anglican High School students felt the game was challenging. Student Elliot Kok Kin Fai, 15, said the game required him to "micro-manage many things".
"It showed that humanitarian efforts are really difficult", he added.
Mercy Relief is planning to visit 12 to 18 other secondary schools to promote their game and their mission through engagement programmes.
Code Blue can be accessed through Mercy Relief's website http://www.mercyrelief.org.