A firefighting "PlayStation-style" video game that simulates a fire spreading through the U.K. town of Rochdale will be used to train firefighters, Manchester Evening News reports.
The game, developed by the University of Salford in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, is set in a faithfully recreated digital Rochdale and uses strategy and management mechanics to get the players to explore the town while controlling firefighting resources like fire engines, fire crews and hose jets.
The game's developers used maps, blueprints and photographs of the area to create a digital replica of the town, while information on the way fires behave and spread was sourced from the Fire and Rescue Service.
"The idea is to train firefighters for different situations without always having to set fire to buildings," Paul Welshman, the university's digital cluster lead, told the Manchester Evening News. "It reduces the costs and the danger."
The game is expected to be rolled out in 2013 to be used alongside traditional training methods in the training of firefighters.