Twenty-five years ago on October 18, Nintendo launched its Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States and—depending on your point of view—began a video game revolution that has taken entertainment technology to previously unfathomable heights. Or it has captivated the attention and interest of millions of children and adults, in over two decades of software and console development, prompting Americans to stay indoors and avoid exercise. Perhaps you see it both ways.
Science can take a page out of the World Health Organization’s book when it comes to tracking and aiding in global health. Its online database, the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), is an early disease detection system developed by Health Canada; it collects data on unusual disease events by monitoring news wires, websites and online newspapers in eight languages. But what can ecologists take away from this?