Kids Doctor - Flu Game

Published 02/13 2013 08:03AM

Updated 02/13 2013 08:07AM

            Doctors and a team of college video game designers have collaborated on a new video game they hope will alleviate children's fears about getting a flu shot. The flu shot can be scary especially for 10-year-olds. "I'm not a fan of the needle" said 10 year old Nick Hernandez

    Enter flu-busters, a video game designed to help kids with their fears of getting the flu shot. Pediatric expert Dr. Leonard Krilov said "when we looked, a lot of our patients, especially the adolescents, were not getting immunized." To turn his idea about a flu video game into reality, Krilov turned to big kids. "I hated needles, too but I hated getting the flu more" said college senior Sam Zarahn, who was part of a team of video game students who worked with Professor Elena Bertozzi to design the game in just a couple of months. Bertozzi said "we sat around thinking, 'how can we make getting a shot something kids would want to do?'"   

    The ten minute game puts kids in different school situations where they're exposed to flu germs.  If they make the right choices, they can walk away without getting sick. "I just wanted to create something that was gross" said Zarah. Gross or not the hospital staff has been testing the game on kids at outpatient clinics. So far all the youngsters who have seen it have agreed to get a flu shot. After playing the game, Hernandez said he now understands the dangers of the flu. The hospital now hopes to make the game available to kids everywhere.

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