Found that on the BBC website this morning â€“ looks like a fantastic use of my departments research team! Maybe just an excuse for them to play Source games all day?!!
Basically, the team (headed by Dr Shamus Smith) took the Half-Life engine, added a map representing the CompSci department, and then used it to run a simulation about escaping from a fire in the building. Sounds like a good idea, in theory!
Found this very interesting:
"If a door was on fire, they [gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit," said Dr Smith
Iâ€™d like to think that Iâ€™d go for a different exit anywayâ€¦ or are all gamers retarded in that way? Hope they wouldnâ€™t try a similar strategy in real life!
Really didnâ€™t like how the university covered this though (http://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=7525). Sure Half-Life is violent, but simulations have been around for ages!