WHO and Psyon Games have joined forces to launch a new tower defense game called the Antidote COVID-19 to turn complex, scientific information into a fun learning experience. During the course of the game, players will learn about their immune system, pathogens, vaccines and how to protect themselves from COVID-19.
The game comes at a critical point of the pandemic where misinformation is hindering COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and adherence to other public health measures due to fear, mistrust and doubt. By putting players in the driver’s seat, the game urges everyone to play a role in fighting harmful misinformation online, and learning and sharing the facts from trusted sources of information.
The game starts just before the pandemic begins. The player is recruited to halt the spread of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by developing vaccines and helping the human immune system fight off the virus. Based on real events, this online adventure takes the player to the frontline of science, ultimately providing lifesaving information in the palms of their hands.
“Since 2017 Psyon Games has specialized in vaccine awareness games,” said Olli Rundgren, CEO of Psyon Games. “Even then, vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation was a big problem. The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought the scale and severity of the problem to a whole new level. Now, more than ever, reaching people with reliable information in their preferred channels is an act of public health and safety. Games are the most engaging and measurable media. We believe that the power of games can contribute heavily to solving this great challenge of our time.”
“Globally, including in countries where COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, misinformation is hindering vaccine acceptance and broader public health efforts,” said Andy Pattison, Team Lead, Digital Channels at the World Health Organization. “Games like the Antidote can help people digest complex scientific information about the virus while building up their resistance to misinformation on COVID-19 protective measures like masks and vaccines in engaging ways, in the palms of their hands.”