Survival medicine experts and best-selling authors Joe Alton, M.D. and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. have developed a new board game to help families learn survival skills and preparedness in an engaging and fun way. The board game, entitled, “Doom and Bloom: Survival!” is being funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which at the time of this writing has garnered over 300 backers and more than $22,000 in pledges against a goal of $19,000.
“The goal of our organization is to have at least one medically self-reliant person in every household for times of disaster or emergency when medical help is not available,” explains Dr. Alton. In support of this goal, the couple hosts a popular internet radio talk show, “The Doom and Bloom™ Survival Medicine Hour” and have written a best-selling book, The Survival Medicine Handbook. The game, say Dr. and Nurse Practitioner Alton, was developed in response to requests for advice from the survivalist community on how to involve the entire family in emergency preparedness training and thinking.
“As we travel the country teaching and speaking at various preparedness conferences, we are regularly approached by people, usually the heads of households who tell us, ‘You’re very lucky, you’re both on the same page and understand how important it is to be prepared for any disaster. I can’t get my spouse or my family members to be involved in this,” says Nurse Practitioner Alton. “We thought that a board game would be a great way to learn the skills of general preparedness—not just medical preparedness, although that is our focus. The game teaches preparedness in a way that is fun, not dryly educational or boring.”
“Survival!” aims to get older children and other family members who are not in a preparedness mindset involved in learning survival skills. According to Dr. Alton, the game is a fun, challenging and family-friendly way to teach people how to be ready for disaster scenarios and how to make difficult decisions that may be required in survival situations.
The game is set in a post-pandemic world where there are very few people left. The objective of the game is to collect supplies, such as fuel, food, medicine and weapons, find other survivors and scout locations that can serve as a safe haven in which to start over. Dr. Alton explains the decision to use a pandemic as the cause of the game’s post-apocalyptic setting: “The main question we get from experienced gamers is, ‘Where are the zombies?’ Everyone loves zombies, but we decided, as survivalists, to create a realistic scenario for our game. Zombies just don’t exist, but pandemics do. The pandemic of 1918 wiped out tens of millions of people across the globe, and that was before commercial air travel made it so easy for diseases to get around the globe.” The couple wanted to show that they could put together a fun and challenging game that had its roots in a real-life scenario.
The Kickstarter campaign to fund production of Doom and Bloom’s game, “Survival!” runs through May 14, 2014. Gameplay videos, information on the game’s development and descriptions of donor rewards for the Kickstarter campaign are available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/survivalboardgame/doom-and-bloomtms-survival. Additional information on Dr. and Nurse Practitioner Alton and their podcast is available at: http://www.doomandbloom.net.