The purpose of the Flu Shot game is to raise flu and flu vaccination awareness. Flu Shot demonstrates the basic principles of infection and prevention by vaccination. It highlights various high-risk groups such as the elderly, children, and health workers. As a playful educational tool, its intent is to spark interest and discussion. On the surface it is just another game and can be enjoyed by anyone, but at the same time it conveys basic information about influenza infection and vaccination. In an educational environment, it can serve as a starting point for an in-depth learning experience.
Flu Shot is an experimental crossover project where scientific detail was intentionally reduced in order to address a larger public and attract attention in a highly visual, entertaining, and intuitive way.
Flu Shot was created for the general public with a focus on the younger generation that is difficult to reach by traditional communication and mainly uses the internet and multimedia for information and entertainment.
The principal challenge was to condense the core message to a set of simple basic principles for an online game. The artist had to visualize these basic principles and translate them into a familiar game environment. The well-established visual vocabulary of comics was used to enable the player to easily grasp the main ideas. The way infection spreads: the virus was depicted as a nasty cartoon character that causes illness in anybody it touches symbolizing the transfer of the virus from an infected person (sneezing, coughing) to a healthy person.
How the spread of a flu epidemic can be stopped by vaccinating a crucial part of the population: players must vaccinate a certain percentage of the population within a defined time limit to gain access to the next level of the game. Who is at risk and should be vaccinated first: high-risk groups are represented by different cartoon characters (e.g., grandpa, child, nurse). A higher number of points scored for these characters reflects the importance of vaccination for these groups.
This game may be used to encourage discussion of influenza virus, the use of vaccine to prevent disease, and the groups at greatest risk for contracting influenza.
Download the Flu Shot game instructions (PDF; Adobe Acrobat required)