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Combat Swine Flu With Games!

In the absence of Earth Defence Force, how should you prepare?

With swine flu panic gripping the globe, all the headlines are dedicated to the spread of this nasty epidemic.

But how prepared are we, as gamers, to deal with an outbreak of swine flu over here? Most will see us as an easy target - fat, overweight, lethargic, lazy and any other negative stereotype that are typically associated with gamers.

Not so. We could be the best prepared out of the lot to deal with swine flu, especially those who have put time into the following games...

LEFT 4 DEAD

SKILLS LEARNT: Teamwork, finding rescue vehicles, throwing molotovs, blaming others

Zoe, Louis, Bill and Francis work together to escape the clutches of the infected and scramble inside the back of a rescue vehicle to be carried away to safety.

Granted, you won't find anything quite as alarming as the Tank parading down your local streets with a runny nose. However, dealing with the Witch - turning all bright lights off and keeping your voice down - will definitely help you deal with loved ones bunged up with the flu.

FALLOUT 3

SKILLS LEARNT: Wearing hazmat suit, stockpiling Med-X, paying inflated medical fees

Okay, so it's not swine flu that's been tearing through Fallout 3's wasteland, but you have to have your hazmat suit ready for the pockets of radiation about. Given the rise of swine flu globally, now isn't a bad time to get used to the hazmat wearer's way of seeing the world through a flimsy plastic window in a giant neon growbag.

Also useful: having a constant supply of pills should your radiation increase to worrying levels, avoiding drinking the tap water from public toilets (this is good advice anyway) and learning the location of your nearest doctor in case of emergency.

RESIDENT EVIL 5

SKILLS LEARNT: Co-operation, carrying nine items at a time, punching boulders

To get away from the infected, you might have to get to high places (use a boost jump!), break through doors (both of you kick at the same time!) or revive each other (quick, inject me in the heart!).

You'll also learn how to quickly go through all the items on your person, while standing still of course. And if there's ever a situation where you have to stand in a volcano and punch a boulder until it moves, Resident Evil 5 has your back with this too. Unfortunately, the one skill you won't learn is how to run and shoot at the same time.

FAR CRY 2

SKILLS LEARNT: Healing yourself, dealing with exotic disease, curing exotic disease.

While it's unlikely you'll ever have to pick bullets out of your leg because of swine flu, the experience in dealing with malaria that Far Cry 2 gives you could come invaluable.

Staggering about, loss of vision, sweating uncontrollably... it could be an amazing night out, it could be the effects of a fiery vindaloo, it could be malaria or it could be swine flu. Who knows?

SHELLSHOCK 2

SKILLS LEARNT: Not much.

You learn how to fight off the infected in linear areas, as they slowly shuffle towards you with blood dribbling out their mouths and woeful AI dribbling out their brains. You learn how to fight them without too much ammo, although whether you'll have a gun to begin with or not is another debate for another time. You might even learn how to deal with them should they get into biting range.

No, that's not why Shellshock 2 is on the list. Instead, this makes the list because playing it will give you a high tolerance for pain, misery and injury. With swine flu sweeping across the globe, that could prove the most invaluable skill of all.

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