Ever hear of that little mobile game that people were going on about last year, Dumb Ways To Die? Of course you have. Everyone had it, and everyone was talking about it. Well, everyone except for me. I never actually played the original. Still, I appreciate a good game, and Dumb Ways to Die, in its own way, is a good game.
The original game was actually a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the risks associated with trains and to promote rail safety. Hopefully, a few of you already knew that because the campaign was a success. But Metro Trains did the game pretty well, so that players never really felt like they were being subjected to a campaign drive about rail safety – it was fun, light hearted and effective as both a game and a way of raising awareness about a very real danger. That has left me wondering, though. Why release a sequel? This one has very little to do with trains, (not that the original had that much to do with them anyway) as it’s based on some sort of morbid Olympic games where contestants are forced to sprint with scissors and have relay races with dynamite batons. Just to be clear, I don’t mean it in a stylish “oooh girl, those batons are dynamite!”, I mean a literal stick of dynamite being used as a baton – I feel like even Usain Bolt couldn’t outrun that one.
I guess they’re kind of moving away from trains now and towards a more general message of safety. That message being “don’t run with scissors… or dynamite”. There are quite a few mini-games in this instalment, with some of the messages of safety being quite clear and others being more uncertain, or absurd. But that’s what made the original so much fun, and not boring or awkward like most public safety announcements, presentations or adverts.
Overall, it’s still an enjoyable game. But I still wonder if a sequel is necessary? Well, according to Wikipedia:
“According to Metro Trains, the campaign contributed to a more than 30% reduction in “near-miss” accidents, from 13.29 near-misses per million kilometres in November 2011 – January 2012, to 9.17 near-misses per million kilometres in November 2012 – January 2013″
Obviously you should take that with a pinch of salt, DWTD can’t take all of the credit. Still, that’s a big reduction and a lot of lives saved – so even if it prevents ten or fifteen more collisions or accidents, another game is surly worth it. Not only that but it helps raise money for Metro Trains who should reinvest it into the Australian rail system and, the cherry on top, people get to play a fun, if a little morbid, game about avoiding death – win, win.