New York Considers Emergency Warnings For Gaming

by Joe Juba on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM

It's happened to all of us: you're watching a recording of your favorite show, and the emergency alert appears at the bottom of the screen warning of an impending hail storm, tornado, or other apocalyptic weather conditions. At that point, the warning doesn't do you much good, does it? Especially since the reason you recorded your show in the first place is because you were playing Modern Warfare 2 when it originally aired.

In order to reach a growing population of people who are less likely to listen to the radio or watch TV – the traditional methods for delivering emergency warnings – the state of New York's Emergency  Management Office is considering a system that would allow warnings to be delivered via Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's online services. The program is still in the testing phases, and no concrete details about an official roll-out have been announced.

This sounds like a great method to reach and inform gamers, as long as it isn't too intrusive. Seeing an alert on the Xbox Live screens are one thing, but no gamer would tolerate warnings popping up during gameplay every time there's a storm nearby. Game Informer's offices are in Minneapolis, which means we wouldn't be able to play online from November through April without constant warnings of inclement weather.