Vaccine education made fun through interactive gaming

Three free virtual educational games to help explore the world of public health, misinformation, disease surveillance and vaccines.

A group of youth sitting on the stairs looking at their cell phones.
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With an overwhelming amount of misinformation in the media surrounding COVID-19 and vaccines, it can be difficult for people to find evidence-based information and resources. It can also be challenging to find learning methods that are educational, engaging, and fun for youth and adults. This article shares three free virtual educational games to help explore the world of public health, misinformation, disease surveillance, and vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, created an interactive game called, Solve the Outbreak. The player’s role in this game is to act as a disease detective who is charged with traveling the globe, solving disease outbreaks, and saving lives around the world. By deciphering clues and analyzing data, players learn how to solve the outbreak and gain insight into the CDC's process for disease surveillance.

The Flu Mystery game, developed by Families Fighting Flu, Inc., puts you in charge of investigating a worldwide influenza (flu) outbreak. The mission is to research, identify patterns, and develop strategies to create a vaccine to fight the flu outbreak. In this game, the players gain an understanding of how the flu spreads, the development of flu vaccines, and the vital role vaccines play in protecting the health and safety in the world.

Go Viral is a quick five-minute game that can help players better identify COVID-19 misinformation. It is recommended for those age 15+, allowing players to become internet trolls and learn common strategies used to spread misleading and false COVID-19 information. This game was created by The University of Cambridge, the UK Cabinet Office, as well as the World Health Organization.

All three games provide a wealth of evidence-based information in a fun and engaging way, so individuals and families can immerse themselves in the world of public health and make informed health and vaccine decisions.

If you would like to learn more about vaccines, check out Michigan State University Extension’s partnership with the Michigan Vaccine Project to find links to event schedules, podcasts, publications, webinars, and videos related to vaccine education.

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