Last Week Tonight host John Oliver recently did a segment about 911 services in America that was considered to be quite the eye-opener regarding the reality of working as a 911 operator. Specifically, the piece highlighted just how underequipped the average 911 operator is and how this lack of proper resources puts an incredible level of stress on them when they realize that often times their decision making in a non-optimal setting can separate life from death for the person on the other end of the line.
As if the report didn't drive home that point clearly enough, developer The Play Way has recently unveiled a teaser trailer for 911 Operator; a simulator that aims to recreate the experience of living as an emergency dispatcher.
While the released trailer doesn't show much in terms of gameplay, it does recreate a real-life call within the theoretical game mechanics that highlights how compelling this title could be. The call in question comes from a girl who is looking to order a pizza. The operator has the option to politely inform her that his is an emergency line and that her question is not appropriate for this service, or forcibly do so and hang-up. In this particular instance, they chose the former, which was a wise decision considering that the caller was disguising their actual emergency call from a dangerous person in the room. The operator is able to dispatch help because of this.
It's a small taste of the project, but the potential is certainly there. One could easily imagine a Papers, Please type game that forces players into difficult situations that require them to discern fake calls from real ones, or come up with a proper solution under the pressure of a timer. Also, considering that the example call was a recreation of a real life 911 call, there is certainly more than enough compelling material for the developers to mine.
No word yet on the release date, but the concept alone could make this one indie title to keep an eye out for as more information becomes available.