The Great Flu: Pandemic Education for the Masses

Teale Fristoe reviews The Great Flu.

In the game, the player acts as the head of the World Pandemic
Control during the outbreak of an unknown flu.  As the game progresses,
the player must take actions, such as dispatching research teams,
dispensing medication and face masks, and closing schools and airports,
in an attempt to control and ultimately defeat the virus.  As the
pandemic intensifies, the player is given information about the history
and science of epidemics through a series of newspaper articles and
videos.  Eventually, if the player is successful, the game ends with a
count of the number of people infected and killed over the pandemic’s
life span, and the money spent containing the virus.

I think the game succeeds in presenting players with a lot of
information through the multimedia featured in the game, and by
including hints in it, giving players incentive to absorb it. 
Furthermore, it nicely illustrates the dangers of our highly connected
world: there’s nothing more jarring than fighting a virus raging in
Central and North America only to glance at Europe and find the
epidemic exploding half way across the globe.  However, the game does
suffer from a few common pitfalls, and going over them might shed some
light on some of the challenges with using games for education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *