In an effort to fight for universal health care in California, representatives from advocate group the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and animators at Rhythm and Hues Studio jointly announced the launch of a new serious game to raise awareness of this growing need.
The web-based game, a first-person shooter called simply Nurse Avenger
, was created in hopes to help to highlight what the FTCR considers to be “the threat posed to our health by insurance companies” while building support for a universal health care system. In addition to playing the game on the official website, visitors can also find more information concerning the proposed California Health Plan, as well as instructions on where to fax legislators expressing support for the bill, SB 840.
According to a note released by the FTCR, the game features gameplay in which “the player is awarded points for fighting mobster-styled insurance company and HMO and insurance reps trying to kill a patient in a hospital bed.” Nurse Avenger
also includes an assortment of weapons tied to the game's subject matter, including: Waste Whacker (HMOs and health insurers waste 25 percent of our money on overhead and profit), Salary Sucker, Voice Mail Avenger and a Purchasing Power Mega Weapon. The ultimate goal of the game is to defeat each “HMO boss”, and thus save the state of California $8 billion -- the predicted annual savings to the state with SB 840.
SB 840 calls for replacing the private, uncompetitive and unregulated health insurance market with a public insurance program that would utilize the 25 percent of revenue currently wasted on overhead by private insurers to provide better health care for all Californians. Compared to private insurers, public health insurance programs typically spend only 2 to 3 percent on overhead.
"We've taken the fight for reform to the video game generation to recruit more universal health care warriors," said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. "Health care is increasingly priced out of reach for 20- somethings. Under the California Health Plan, the billions of dollars now wasted on insurance middlemen, CEO pay, record corporate profits, overhead and advertising would be used to provide good, affordable care for all who need it."