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Emergency room simulation wins award for local video-game developers

“On Call,” a game designed to sharpen quick-thinking skills for emergency medical personnel, has won a prestigious award, its local developers said.

The game might be partly described as a hospital emergency room simulator, and its developers include the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Becker College, and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. ((Also known as MassDiGi, the institute is a state-sponsored game development center.)

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According to the developers, “On Call” was recently voted Best in Show at the Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase at the 2013 SSIH International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, Fla.

In a press release, the developers said that “On Call” is a multiplayer game that “allows students to use social or Facebook-style game mechanics to play different medical team roles in a fast-paced setting. Students have an opportunity to ‘virtually’ assess, evaluate, and treat patients while balancing factors such as time, efficiency, and resources.”

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In a statement, MassDiGI executive director Timothy Loew added that “On Call” was built by students from Becker College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Springfield College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Berklee College of Music, with support from UMMS experts and game industry professionals during MassDiGI’s 2012 Summer Innovation Program at Becker College in Worcester.

After more testing, the developers look to commercialize the game, Loew said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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