New York Testing Emergency Alerts Over Gaming Networks

I've seen "extreme weather warning" alerts beep-beep-beep across my TV during a show, but someone playing a video game might not. That's why NY state officials are intending to also send those Emergency Management Office issued alerts over gaming networks.

According to officials, the idea is to "reach younger residents who spend more time on the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii than with television or radio" and it's actually part of a bigger program called Empire 2.0. Other things happening under the Empire 2.0 project include:

[T]he Department of Mental Health is monitoring some Facebook posts in an effort to spot suicidal behavior, the Office of Homeland Security is using Second Life to train 700,000 first responders, and senior members of the state CIO's office are using Twitter to disseminate information about technology initiatives to the public.

Basically, it feels like a good blend between the services and technology we use every day and important government programs. Now we just need a way to get emergency alerts to those of us who no longer watch live TV, listen to regular radio, and or play video games much. Or am I the only one? [Information Week via Slashdot]