A few months back, Ian Bogost and his studio, Persuasive Games, were tasked with creating a game for the UK Clinical Virology Network
to teach folks about seasonal and pandemic flus. Named Killer Flu
, the game operates on a hexagonal board and, while learning about how to infect a populace by playing as the flu itself, the player is tasked with infecting various community members and sending them into buildings to infect their comrades.
His timeliness is incredible, considering only a few months have passed and we've nearly got a pandemic on our hands with the Swine Flu. Okay, okay, we're exaggerating a bit
. If anything, Bogost's game schools our panic-inclined brains to the relative difficulty a virus faces in becoming an actual threat. "The truth is, pandemic flus are rare and unusual strains that are far harder to spread than popular discourse might make it seem," Bogost says in a post about the game on Gamasutra
. So hard, in fact, that we lost repeatedly in our attempts to infect a decent chunk of the virtual population. Do yourself a favor: check out Killer Flu
and assuage your worries about the upcoming apocalypse. Besides, we all know it's going to be zombies that do us in. Come on now!